Government Contract Discovery Services

With demonstrated success in all stages of the drug discovery process, Albany Molecular Research, Inc. (AMRI) provides fully integrated, customer-focused services utilizing a collaborative approach to deliver clinical candidates. Capabilities at AMRI embrace the entire drug discovery platform including  biology, structural biology, DMPK, CADD, synthetic chemistry, medicinal chemistry, and fragment based screening.

Effectively combining these disciplines has contributed to AMRI’s success in helping its customers discover more than 75 pre-clinical nominations and clinical candidates during the past 20 years.

Discovery Biology Capabilities

AMRI works closely with clients to design and develop custom assays and screening strategies, which can utilize some of AMRI’s unique resources including natural products, fragment libraries, and diverse screening sets.

In Vitro Biology Capabilities

  • Target ID, validation and characterization
  • Custom assay development
  • Custom cell lines and proteins
  • Chemogenomics and high throughput quantitative proteomics
  • HTS – all target classes
  • In vitro pharmacology and mechanistic studies
  • Synthetic, Natural Product & Fragment Libraries
  • Consulting (assays, screening cascades and progression criteria)
  • Natural products and antimicrobial discovery groups

DMPK Capabilities

  • Metabolic stability, metabolite ID
  • CYP inhibition, phenotyping, induction
  • Permeability – PAMPA, MDR1-MDCK, Caco-2
  • Bioanalytical – plasma and tissue samples
  • Plasma protein binding
  • Solubility and formulation assessment
  • Metabolite ID species comparison
  • Metabolite Synthesis and Structural ID
  • Cytotoxicity and reactive metabolite formation
  • Standard screening and custom studies

Natural Products Capabilities

AMRI has invested millions of dollars to assemble one of the world’s most unique and diverse natural product collections comprised of microbial and botanical extracts, along with the supporting scientific infrastructure to identify and develop hits.

These compound collections include a lead-finding resource of approximately 300,000 screening wells of crude extracts and prefractionated natural product samples which can be tested at client facilities or at AMRI. The libraries are supported by advanced technologies and expertise for de-replication, structure elucidation, derivitization and scale-up.

Natural product samples provide broad chemical diversity not typically found in synthetic chemical libraries. Large portions of the pharmaceutical industry were built and remain largely dependent upon natural product derived drugs to treat indications ranging from pain, to high cholesterol, to antibiotics, and to cancer.

Key characteristics of the Natural Product Libraries include:

  • Nearly 300,000 samples derived from marine and terrestrial microorganisms and plants
  • Custom library creation
  • Full natural product support (fermentation, isolation, structure determination)
  • High throughput natural product screening and high throughput active component  identification

AMRI Advantage:

  • AMRI’s success rate at generating active components on re-fermentation of microorganisms exceeds 90%
  • AMRI continues to expand its culture collection with the isolation of new and unusual microorganisms
  • AMRI can prepare custom natural product libraries for collaborators wishing to access strains that were not used in the creation of our existing screening sample collection

AMRI employs a “fail early" and “succeed faster” philosophy, designing  discovery programs to optimize potency and selectivity at the therapeutic target while applying ADMET and DMPK principles to ensure pharmacological properties appropriate to progress the drug into the pre-clinical stage.

Whether starting from a unique target or supporting ongoing lead discovery programs, AMRI has a strong track record of turning innovative drug discovery ideas into viable drug discovery programs.

Distinct Biology Strengths

  • Targets
  • GPCRs            
  • Kinases/Phosphatases             
  • Nuclear Hormone Receptor   
  • Phosphodiesterases            
  •  Methyltranferases           

Therapeutic Area           

  • Metabolic Diseases           
  • CNS
  • Antibacterials
  • Oncology                


  • Natural Products
  • Fragments
  • Diverse Screening Sets
  • In Vivo Relationships

Structural Biology Capabilities

  • Crystallography Services integrated with AMRI medicinal chemistry enabling Structure-Guided Drug Discovery
  • Over 118 Gallery Structures for immediate analysis of Protein ligand structures
  • Gene to Structure delivery to the highest standards
  • Unique technologies (Free Mounting System and Picodropper) enhancing quality of structure analysis and allowing to solve structures  otherwise not obtainable
  • Ownership of synchrotron beamline (swiss light source)
  • Excellence in protein construct designs and protein production for biophysical characterization
  • Immediate feasibility analysis of customer requests

Discovery Chemistry Capabilities

AMRI’s global staff of 275 chemists, with a Ph.D. density of 45%, provides intellectual input, expertise, and problem-solving skills at the bench.

AMRI discovery chemists are highly skilled and efficient in the art of synthetic and medicinal chemistry. Guided by an in-depth knowledge of medicinal chemistry principles established throughout three decades in the pharmaceutical industry, AMRI’s medicinal chemists design and synthesize new molecules with the goal of discovering novel, efficacious, and safe compounds suitable for progression in human clinical trials.

Chemistry Capabilities

Discovery Track Record

The AMRI discovery team has made significant contributions to the scientific community including 90 issued patents, 300 peer-reviewed articles, and the delivery of 400 verbal presentations and posters during the past 10 years alone. Since 2001, AMRI has been involved in 175 drug discovery projects resulting in 75 pre-clinical and clinical candidates in various therapeutic areas. AMRI’s track record in drug discovery has led to collaborations with organizations across large pharma, biotech, non-profit, and academia.

A select list of public collaborations follows:

  • National Institutes of Health (NIH) – Five year, $43-million contract to develop pre-clinical drug candidates to treat diseases of the central nervous system (CNS) (cost  reimbursement contract)
  • Bristol Myers Squibb® – Partnership has yielded three compounds in development, two of which have progressed into the clinic
  • CHDI® – Multi-program, fully integrated drug discovery collaboration (CNS/Kinase focus)
  • Genentech® – Research and licensing agreement on antibacterial agents from AMRI’s own natural products based program
  • Eli Lilly and Company –  A new collaboration agreement to support Lilly’s drug discovery programs

Project Management – Discovery

At AMRI, chemistry and biology project leaders provide oversight of the individual teams while our integrated project leadership team is there to provide central coordination across the locations and scientific disciplines. These integrated project leaders are highly experienced drug discovery scientists with the knowledge to ensure optimal communication between the biology, chemistry and DMPK groups and with the customer.  Working across international time-zones, this team also ensures transparent communications, and flow of data and materials between our sites and the customer. AMRI project leadership drives efficient and effective drug discovery programs, compressing timelines, maintaining quality and reducing costs.

AMRI Discovery Case Studies

AMRI scientists have a wide array of experience working with large pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, as well as non-profit and academic organizations. As a result, AMRI has strength and experience in several therapeutic areas, including anti-infectives, central nervous system disorders, metabolic diseases, oncology, and inflammation. Some of our therapeutic discovery case studies are presented below.

Download AMRI Discovery Case Studies