NCI Experimental Therapeutics Program Chemical Biology Consortium Support


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The Chemical Biology Consortium (CBC) within the National Cancer Institute Experimental Therapeutics (NExT) Program is a government, academic, and industry partnership to help translate promising discoveries into anticancer therapeutics. 

Managed by the Frederick National Laboratory, NExT CBC provides the expertise to advance early-stage oncology drug discovery projects to selection of a clinical candidate.  

Project concepts are submitted as applications to the National Cancer Institute and reviewed by a panel of external experts. The Frederick National Laboratory team works with the National Cancer Institute to transform the top-ranked scientific proposals into functioning project teams. 

We oversee the progress of each project and manage participation on teams via a series of subcontract agreements.

In our close collaboration with the NCI Division of Cancer Treatment and Diagnosis, we facilitate the progression of new anticancer drugs towards clinical evaluation, thereby contributing to the NExT Program’s goal to address unmet needs in cancer therapy.


We established a state-of-the-art relational database that houses compound structures and associated data for all the NExT CBC projects, which can be accessed and analyzed through the D360 scientific informatics platform from Certara. This system enables project team members to access, analyze and share results with each other, as well as with our group and National Cancer Institute participants. 

Data and results are shepherded into the database and organized by members of our group. We maintain and upgrade the system and provide training on its use for project team participants.  

We represent Leidos Biomedical Research, Inc., current operator of the Frederick National Laboratory, in the Compound Library Consortium that provides CBC projects access to a set of more than 100,000 diverse, high-quality, semi-proprietary molecules as potential starting points for drug discovery. 

In the past 10 years, compounds from four CBC projects have either entered the clinic or been licensed to pharmaceutical or biotech companies for further development. A fifth project has recently selected a clinical candidate. 

Chemical Biology Consortium 

The consortium is the discovery engine for the NExT program. Chemical and structural biologists, modelers and other specialists at academic research centers and commercial contract research organizations provide expertise, capabilities and services necessary for early drug discovery. 

  • Oversight and management of CBC project teams 
  • Liaison between CBC institutions and Leidos Biomedical Research Inc. subcontracting 
  • Coordinate activities and communication between subcontractors and Division of Cancer Treatment and Diagnosis. 
  • Management and maintenance of proprietary CBC project data with D360 platform 
  • Participation on steering committee for Compound Library Consortium 
  • Deployed technologies 
    • High-throughput screening 
    • Cell-based assays 
    • Biophysical assays 
    • Medicinal chemistry 
    • Pharmacokinetics 
    • Structural Biology 
    • Pharmacodynamics 
    • In vivo studies