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Manchester secures global medicinal chemistry congress

Manchester has been confirmed as the host destination for the XXIV EFMC - International Symposium on Medicinal Chemistry in 2016 after a ‘Team Manchester’ collaborative approach impressed decision-makers.
The biennial International Symposium on Medicinal Chemistry organised by the European Federation of Medicinal Chemistry (EFMC-ISMC) is a key symposium in drug discovery and will bring some 1,400 international participants from industry and academia in a deal worth approximately £3.3m to the city.


EFMC-ISMC was secured through a partnership approach between Visit Manchester, Manchester Central and the Biological and Medicinal Chemistry Sector of the Royal Society of Chemistry. The bid was led by Peakdale Molecular’s Dr Matthew Tozer, with support from The University of Manchester, the Paterson Institute for Cancer Research, the Society of Chemical Industry, Bionow and AstraZeneca.  

Dr Matthew Tozer, chair of the Local Organising Committee, director of Medicinal Chemistry Services at Peakdale Molecular and Manchester Conference Ambassador said: “Inspired by the excellent EFMC-ISMC 2010 in Brussels and an approach from Visit Manchester, the thought of bringing a future meeting to the North West - with its rich history in science and pharmaceutical discovery - took shape over two years. With the all-encompassing support and enthusiasm of Visit Manchester and Manchester Central, a bid was presented at the 2012 event in Berlin.  

“Momentum is beginning to build around Manchester and planning will be in full swing by the end of 2014. This is an exciting opportunity to welcome colleagues and collaborators from around the world and to share the excellence in drug discovery that industry and academia across the North West has to offer.”   

Medicinal Chemistry plays a fundamental part in the development of new medicines. EFMC-ISMC traditionally attracts experts in drug discovery and development, in particular medicinal and synthetic chemists, together with scientists active in the fields of computer assisted drug design, biology, DMPK, pharmacology, early toxicology, as well as chemical and pharmaceutical development.  

The North West biomedical cluster has one of the largest concentrations of biomedical businesses in the UK with over 220 core companies either conducting R&D or manufacturing along with a further 330 specialist supply chain companies. Manchester, therefore, hopes to capitalise on the legacy of hosting EFMC-ISMC 2016 by welcoming and engaging with influential delegates from across the world.  

Andrew Stokes, chief executive at Marketing Manchester commented: “This fantastic win for Manchester demonstrates the power of a long-term collaborative approach and how multiple organisations in Manchester work in partnership to attract international meetings of this calibre.  

“Manchester has recently been designated European City of Science 2016, therefore it will be particularly exciting to welcome XXIV EFMC delegates in a year in which the city showcases its many contributions to scientific discovery.”  

Angie Robinson, chief executive of Manchester Central, said: “Manchester Central has a track record of hosting and delivering some of the world’s leading international congresses and this is another fantastic win for our venue and the wider city. International clients have the confidence that they not only are they choosing a world-class venue, but they are also choosing a world-leading city in a number of fields, which is essential for the success of their events.”  

Phil Jones, chair of the BMCS Committee and the International Organising Committee said:  “We believe Manchester will make a superb venue for the meeting. It has excellent conference facilities in a setting with an outstanding cultural, industrial and scientific heritage. This will create an excellent environment to share new results, for scientific discussion and interaction as well as the opportunity to extend our networks and enjoy ourselves.”

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