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Optimizing the use of CROs by academia and small companies

Contract research organizations (CROs) have a key role in drug discovery and development, but processes for evaluating, engaging and managing CRO contracts may not be well established in academic institutions or small companies. Here, we recommend an approach to optimize the execution of drug discovery programmes in such environments.

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The authors of this article were participants in an advisory panel focused on generating recommendations for academic scientists and early-stage biotechnology companies when engaging and contracting CROs for preclinical drug discovery and development, convened by the Alzheimer's Drug Discovery Foundation (ADDF). As part of an effort to improve access to CRO services, a database of CROs and educational resources for preclinical drug discovery and development for neurodegenerative diseases is available at:

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S.P.B. is an employee of Circuit Therapeutics, Inc.; J.A.F. is an employee of BioFocus Inc.; D.A.L. is an employee of NeuroAssets Sàrl; and K.T. is a minority shareholder of Cyprotex PLC and SynDevRx.

All other authors have no competing interests.

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Lane, R., Friedman, L., Keith, C. et al. Optimizing the use of CROs by academia and small companies. Nat Rev Drug Discov 12, 487–488 (2013).

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