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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Biological Sciences : Postgraduate

Postgraduate Course: Commercial Aspects of Drug Discovery (PGBI11049)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Biological Sciences CollegeCollege of Science and Engineering
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits10 ECTS Credits5
SummaryThe aim of this course is to analyse a diverse range of biotech and pharma business models in place in a range of companies from large multinationals to small start-up companies. Non-profit models for drug discovery and development through government funding agencies will also be discussed. Visits to companies and/or presentations from business managers and entrepreneurs will be used to provide an insight into what factors drive success in a wide range of science-based companies. From the presentations and visit you will write a short essay summarising the key learnings. You will also present your original idea for starting a biotech-related enterprise via a shore presentation and essay. You will use the information presented over the course to develop a business plan for your own biotech start-up company. Groups of 4 to 6 will work together to develop an original business plan that will be presented to the Course Organiser and the visiting speakers.
Course description There will be a series of presentations from a number of SME (small-medium enterprise) biotech companies, research institutes, entrepreneurs and funders. Where possible site visits will be organised which will provide an opportunity to study the detailed workings of experimental programs in a commercial environment. Scientific techniques will include assay development, HTS (High Throughput Screening) microarray technology, and medicinal chemistry. Discussion sessions with biotech managers and scientists will provide an opportunity of analysing the key steps and bottlenecks in the translational process. A course outline detailing each week's lecture will be available from Learn towards the end of Semester 1.

Link to a video describing the course from the Course Organiser:

Students requesting to take Industry & Entrepreneurship (PGBI11090) alongside Commercial Aspects of Drug Discovery (PGBI11049) are permitted to do so, but should note that there is some overlap.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements Students requesting to take Industry & Entrepreneurship (PGBI11090) alongside Commercial Aspects of Drug Discovery (PGBI11049) are permitted to do so, but should note that there is some overlap.
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2024/25, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  40
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 100 ( Lecture Hours 14, External Visit Hours 14, Formative Assessment Hours 2, Summative Assessment Hours 3, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 2, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 65 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Individual business idea (20%)
Key learnings essay (20%)
Group project presentations (20%)
Group business plan and presentation slides (40%)
Feedback Written feedback will be provided on all assessments.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Appreciate the important factors driving the research and technology development within the biopharmaceutical industry
  2. Work well in a team
  3. Prepare and present short seminars
  4. Write a business plan
Reading List
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Course organiserDr Karl Burgess
Tel: (0131 6)51 9062
Course secretaryMiss Fionnuala Nidhonnabhain
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