The CCTS Hub works with regional partners to facilitate and promote unique research opportunities. Through the Academic Drug Discovery and Device Development Program (AD4), CCTS investigators can access the leading-edge, high through-put screening and drug development capacity at Southern Research (SR) to assay new molecular targets, develop effective screens for novel targets, accelerate potential therapies through the development pipeline, and find new applications for existing clinically tested drugs (“re-purposing”).

The CCTS has more recently launched a device development initiative to support the identification and prototyping of medical device applications. One such project, led by CCTS Partners Drs. Silas Leavesley and Tom Rich from the University of South Alabama (USA), explores the use of spectral imaging to improve the detection of cancerous lesions in the colon. This CCTS video provides an in-depth look at this exciting collaboration.

Both drug and device programs are supported by multidisciplinary project development teams that provide expertise tailored to the study aims, including medicinal chemistry, high-throughput assay development, engineering, clinical application, and commercialization. The team meets quarterly to guide the project's progress and to troubleshoot obstacles. These discussions are conducted under a master Confidentiality Disclosure Agreement. In some cases, CCTS joins partnering institutions to financially enable assay/prototype development following a rigorous application and vetting process. 

As projects mature, the collaborative development and commercialization of a drug or a device becomes the basis of a business agreement between Southern Research (or another company) and the investigator’s institution. Intellectual Property (IP) for drug or device efforts is negotiated between institutions that have a significant inventive contribution to the project. Regardless, such projects may continue to benefit from CCTS-organized consultation and project development.

AD4 represents an expansion of CCTS involvement in the Alabama Drug Discovery Alliance and AIMTech.