Amsterdam Neuroscience hereby announces the launch of The CANDIDATE Center, a central unit in the organization dedicated to CNS target and drug discovery. The CANDIDATE Center operates as a translational drug development unit within Amsterdam Neuroscience, accessible to all principal investigators. On April 5, at the TN2 symposium, there will be a festive kick-off of The CANDIDATE Center.

Scientific quality and output at Amsterdam Neuroscience is world leading. However, research insights also need to lead to development and out-licensing of new drugs. The CANDIDATE Center intends to bridge the two and will work hand-in-hand with principal investigators to convert insight in disease pathways into a drug development project.

Assays for target and drug discovery

Depending on the project, a target discovery/validation effort is initiated or a drug screen will be developed. This will entail genetic CRISPR screens to identify novel targets for a phenotype of interest, or the design, optimization and execution of drug screens using enzymatic assays. The ultimate goal of these efforts is to jointly generate novel composition of matter intellectual property, i.e. drugs. Additionally, with every project an effort for the development of a companion diagnostic will be started.

Infographic of working model of The CANDIDATE Center
Infographic of working model of The CANDIDATE Center
Drug development, a collaborative effort

Investigators can approach the CANDIDATE Center with ideas about disease mechanisms or model systems that can be the starting point for a screening and drug development effort. Furthermore, the CANDIDATE Center will also proactively reach out to investigators. It is intended that once every six months, two new projects will be selected which start as a collaboration between the involved principal investigator(s) and the CANDIDATE Center.


For further information on the concept, guidelines for new projects, and funding opportunities, please contact:

Ruud Wijdeven:

Pieter van Bokhoven:

Jort Vijverberg:

Rik van der Kant

We are much looking forward developing drugs for brain diseases together!