About us

The Centre for Drug Candidate Optimisation (CDCO) is a collaborative research centre based within the Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences.

We provide expertise and infrastructure in physicochemical property evaluation, drug metabolism and pharmacokinetics to multidisciplinary drug discovery teams for improved compound design, selection and progression.

Drug candidate optimisation fills a crucial gap between discovery and development by integrating medicinal chemistry and biology with the pharmaceutical sciences to provide a rational means of identifying drug candidates suitable for progression into pre-clinical and clinical development. This process has become an essential, value-creating component of modern drug discovery.

We utilise fully validated scientific platforms to help researchers enhance their chemistry and biology programs. Rather than a ‘one-size-fits-all’ model, we work with our collaborators to tailor study designs to the needs of each specific project and ensure we are running the right study at the right time. Our focus is the timely delivery of high impact, decision-quality data to inform and enhance drug discovery projects, leading to an enhanced IP position for improved commercial attractiveness.

The CDCO provides lead optimisation support to drug discovery programs focussed on a range of disease indications including cancer, CNS disorders, cardiovascular and metabolic disease and infectious diseases. Our partners and collaborators include biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies, global not-for-profit organisations, Australian research institutes, universities and federally funded cooperative research centres.

Our mission is to play a significant role in translating Australian chemical and biological discoveries into viable drug candidates that are well-positioned for further development.

Clinical candidates

Since 2003, our collaborators have progressed 35 new drug candidates into clinical development across disease indications including infectious diseases, cancer, cardiovascular and metabolic diseases and central nervous system disorders.

Supporting Australian Biotech

Value creation within Australian drug discovery through the support of University spin-out companies and major licencing deals for Australian academic and commercial groups.

Global impact

Global impact

We hold long standing relationships with global PDPs including the Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV) and the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi). Through these collaborations, one new drug and a number of preclinical candidates have been delivered.