Accelerating Drug Discovery Through Development and Integration of Capabilities by Milana Maletic, PhD

Director, Discovery Chemistry at Merck.

High-throughput experimentation (HTE) has been successfully used as a tool in discovery of new reactions. Recently, at Merck, a nanomole-scale automated platform was developed to enable application of HTE when material is limited. This new platform enables the synthesis of arrays of molecules with simultaneous investigation of best reaction conditions using small amounts of material. This presentation will focus on the integration of this new synthetic platform with other parts of discovery cycle: molecular design and biological assays. We will present our strategy for development of integrated HTE capabilities and highlight some examples of application of the capabilities to the Merck Discovery pipeline.

BIO Milana Maletic is a Director in the HTE and Lead Discovery Capabilities group at Merck. She started her career at Merck in 1998 as a Senior Research Chemist in Discovery Chemistry in Rahway, NJ. In the first 15 years, she contributed to projects across therapeutic areas, as an individual contributor and later as a project leader.  She was a key contributor in the discovery of several clinical development candidates that advanced to Ph I and Ph II studies and a co-inventor on numerous Merck patents. In 2013, she transitioned into a capabilities group where she has been leading a group in developing and applying new capabilities to accelerate drug discovery.

Prior to joining Merck, Milana completed a postdoctoral fellowship with Professor Daniel Kahne at Princeton University, exploring the synthesis and molecular recognition of rigid oligosaccharide scaffolds. She received her Ph.D. in Chemistry from Columbia University under the direction of Professor Ronald Breslow, studying recognition and catalysis of monooxygenase enzyme mimetics. She obtained a B.A. in Chemistry from Illinois Wesleyan University.