Drug Discovery and Development

CCaTS Drug Discovery image

Mayo Clinic's Center for Clinical and Translational Science (CCaTS) offers resources to help investigators through the discovery, development and testing of novel therapeutics. These new drugs may lead to a reduction in symptoms, improved quality of life or possibly a reversal of hard-to-treat diseases. This service is available to investigators at all Mayo Clinic campuses.

CCaTS's Drug Discovery and Development resource involves collaboration with several external organizations. Through these collaborations, CCaTS fosters academic and public-private partnerships in the drug discovery, development and testing process.

These collaborators work with Mayo Clinic to offer drug discovery and development services to investigators:

Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute

Mayo Clinic, via the Office of Translation to Practice, collaborates with Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute (Sanford Burnham Prebys) to expand and speed the development of new therapeutic drugs aimed at a variety of diseases that have unmet medical needs.

Sanford Burnham Prebys is funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to develop vast molecular libraries of compounds for effective drug candidates. It has one of the world's largest libraries of chemical compounds and the ability to perform robotic ultrahigh-throughput screening, matching those compounds with biological molecules.

The collaboration with Sanford Burnham Prebys is funded by a partnership among the Mayo Clinic Research Committee, CCaTS, Mayo Clinic Center for Individualized Medicine, Mayo Clinic Comprehensive Cancer Center and Mayo Clinic Center for Regenerative Biotherapeutics.

For more information about this collaboration, read "Mayo Clinic plugs into drug discovery" in Discovery's Edge, Mayo's online research magazine.

Preferred project status

Consider applying to the Sanford Burnham Prebys program if you:

  • Have identified targets for modulation
  • Have or can develop screening assays
  • Are interested in identifying small molecule compounds


If you apply and are selected to participate in this program, funding is provided to collaborate with Sanford Burnham Prebys scientists to validate and optimize a screening assay, as well as perform a small-scale compound screening. You will need to have funding available to pay for any additional validation of early screen compounds at Mayo. Once this is accomplished, funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and other sources is sought to perform drug screening and lead compound optimization.

National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences

The National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) is an NIH center with an open database of clinical compounds available for repurposing. These compounds failed in clinical trials due to efficacy but not safety. Compounds in the database are Phase I ready.

Preferred project status

Consider searching the NCATS compound database if you have identified a target in a signaling pathway associated with a disease indication. You can search the NCATS database by target name and determine if a compound exists to modulate that target. If you find a compound that can modulate your target, you can apply through NCATS for access to the compound and funding to support phase I and phase II testing.


If you apply and are selected to participate in this program, access to the compound and funding is provided through NCATS.

Preclinical drug development services

Mayo Clinic Ventures has developed a network of fee-for-service external research organizations that provide expertise in drug formulation, preclinical toxicology and medicinal chemistry. They also can offer input regarding interactions with the Food and Drug Administration, including guidance on pre-investigational new drug applications and investigational new drug submissions, among other topics.

These resources are available on a project-by-project basis. Contact Mayo Clinic Ventures for additional information.

Preferred project status

Consider contacting Mayo Clinic Ventures for preclinical drug development services if you have identified a lead compound, either small molecule or biologic.


You need to have funding available to pay for preclinical drug development services.

Other opportunities

Additional funding sources, requests for proposals and other drug development opportunities also are available periodically through CCaTS Drug Discovery and Development.

If you have a project you are interested in pursuing with CCaTS, contact one of the individuals listed in the Contacts section below.

For more information about funding opportunities, refer to the CCaTS Funding Opportunities page.


Nathan K. LeBrasseur, Ph.D., M.S.

  1. Program Director
  2. Phone: 507-266-0727
  3. Email: lebrasseur.nathan@mayo.edu

Bharath Wootla, Ph.D.

  1. Program Manager
  2. Phone: 507-538-0858
  3. Email: wootla.bharath@mayo.edu

Andrew J. Danielsen

  1. Mayo Clinic Ventures
  2. Phone: 507-284-4858
  3. Email: danielsen.andrew@mayo.edu

In addition to funding and technology development support, The Office of Translation to Practice (OTP) collaborates with multiple internal departments such as Mayo Clinic Ventures and the Division of Engineering (must be logged in to the Mayo Clinic network) to determine product feasibility.

OTP maintains connections to external prototyping and development companies to assist Mayo innovators as they mature their concepts to implementation. We establish Master Services Agreements with these companies, enabling quick-turn execution once a statement of work is agreed upon and signed.