Charles River Presents: The Drug Discovery Journey

Young scientist works in modern biological lab

How to Reduce Time to Clinic and Increase Chances for Success in Small Molecule and Antibody Therapeutics

The drug discovery process is complicated, difficult, and lengthy. In an effort to get to IND quickly, many companies try to save time by rushing through the hit to lead and lead optimization process, resulting in costly failures in the clinic. Learn practical strategies to saving time in the drive to IND for both small molecules and antibodies while preserving a thorough, translational approach to early discovery and development.

Considerations in Being Thorough in Hit to Lead and Lead Optimization – How to Employ a Translational Approach to Identify Failures Early and Advance Better Leads

Presented by Christopher Antony Hurley, MSc, Ph.D., Director, Client Services, Charles River Laboratories, Early Discovery


Case Studies in Small Molecule Development – Lessons Learned and the Charles River Difference

Presented by Ian David Waddell, BSc, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer, Charles River Laboratories, Early Discovery


Antibody Discovery and Optimization – A Better Translational Approach is Here Today

Presented by Katherine Ann Vousden, BSc (Hons), Ph.D., Science Director, Charles River Laboratories, Early Discovery


Featured Speakers


Christopher Hurley Headshot

Christopher Antony Hurley, MSc, Ph.D.
Director, Client Services
Charles River Laboratories, Early Discovery


With 18 years of experience within the drug discovery industry and contract research, Chris is the Director of Chemistry at Charles River Laboratories in Harlow, UK.

Leading multidisciplinary teams through the integrated drug discovery process, he provides strategic oversight from hit identification to lead optimization and preclinical candidate selection. His record includes 8 preclinical candidates with three compounds progressing to the clinic. His co-invention of a targeted delivery system for genetic material to cells has been commercialized, and he is designated inventor on more than 25 patents.

Chris holds an MSci in medicinal chemistry and a Ph.D. in organic and biological chemistry, both from UCL. He has published 25 papers and abstracts.

Ian Waddell Headshot

Ian David Waddell, BSc, Ph.D.
Chief Scientific Officer
Charles River Laboratories, Early Discovery


Dr. Waddell is a biochemist with expertise in Oncology focussed drug discovery. Following post-docs in the US, Dr. Waddell spent 5 years as a lecturer in Molecular medicine at the University of Dundee. He then joined Zeneca where he spent the next 20 years as a project and line manager working in classical cardiovascular, diabetes, and obesity before focussing on Oncology. Dr. Waddell was the Director of Discovery Medicine in the Oncology iMED with responsibility for pre-clinical translational projects in the UK, USA, and China before he left AZ in 2011. Dr. Waddell then spent over 7 years in an academic setting as the Head of Biology in the Drug Discovery Unit at the Cancer Research UK Manchester Institute before joining Charles River Laboratories as Executive Director Biology in 2017. Ian is now the Chief Scientific Officer for the Early Discovery team in CRL.

Katherine Vousden Headshot

Katherine Ann Vousden, BSc (Hons), Ph.D.
Science Director
Charles River Laboratories, Early Discovery


Katherine Vousden obtained a Ph.D. in yeast genetics from the Genetics department at the University of Leicester. Following a postdoctoral placement at the University of Sheffield, she has spent over 22 years in the biopharmaceutical industry – a significant portion of which managing multidisciplinary teams and leading large molecule projects through all Research phases at MedImmune/ AstraZeneca. In early 2020 Katherine joined Charles River as a Science Director, to support the growth of large molecule capabilities and partnerships across the Discovery organization.