Improving target assessment for drug development

Translational Medicine /

© Nico Roicke
The critical path according to the GOT-IT recommendations.

Globally there is an overwhelming amount of biomedical academic research on targets that are of interest for future drug development. Although currently too few of these targets progress into medical applications, academic research is invaluable for the discovery of new targets. It provides for example detailed investigations on the biology of the targets and the exact link between these targets and the respective disease. In order to actually transfer this purely academic research to the development of new drugs, it first requires sound target assessment and validation.

In a project funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) under participation of the TMP branch of Fraunhofer IME, recommendations have been developed on how to design the assessment and validation of a target in such a way that the chances for its application in drug development are increased: the GOT-IT (Guidelines on Target Assessment for Innovative Therapeutics) recommendations. These recommendations were developed based on literature research and discussions with representatives from science, industry and technology transfer offices. They address important key aspects of target assessment such as the link between target and disease, safety aspects associated with the target, innovation, technical feasibility of a project and specific requirements for target assessment of microbial targets. Aspects that increase research quality are also integrated in the GOT-IT recommendations.

The GOT-IT recommendations have been published in Nature Reviews Drug Discovery. The website offers, among other things, learning methods for young scientists as well as a tool for developing your own target assessment project. 



Emmerich, C.E., Martinez Gamboa, L., Hofmann, M.C.J., Bonin-Andresen, M., Arbach, O., Schendel, P., Gerlach, B., Hempel, K., Bespalov, A., Dirnagl, U., Parnham, M.J.
Improving target assessment in biomedical research: the GOT-IT recommendations. 
Nat Rev Drug Discov (2020).
DOI: /10.1038/s41573-020-0087-3