7th RSC / SCI symposium on GPCRs

in Medicinal Chemistry


Monday-Wednesday, 10th-12th September 2018


Aptuit, Verona, Italy








Registration is open


Twitter hashtag - #GPCRsVerona


Downloads and Links

Online registration - for payment by card

Registration form - for payment by bank transfer or cheque


Third announcement

Second announcement

Poster abstract template - closing date is 11th July

Bursary application form - closing date is 30th July


Accommodation booking agency

Directions to Aptuit

Public bus-stop near Aptuit

Coach pick-up point in Verona


RSC webpage

SCI webpage



The key role of G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) in human disease underpins their importance to modern medicine. We are pleased to announce that Aptuit, Italy will support the seventh meeting in this series on GPCR drug discovery, which will combine cutting edge medicinal chemistry with innovative structural biology and novel drug design approaches.


The meeting will consist of:

Clinical candidates
Case studies in GPCR drug discovery and development
New structural biology and drug design
Allosteric modulation

Also:   poster session - trade exhibition opportunities - two evening dinners and vineyard visit - accommodation agency booking service


Call for Abstracts

Applications for poster presentations are welcome. Posters will be displayed throughout the meeting and applicants should indicate whether they wish to be considered for a flash oral presentation when submitting an abstract (two minutes, single slide).  Download an abstract template here and return to the secretariat.  The closing date is 11th July.  


The closing date for oral abstracts has passed (2nd January), and no further oral abstracts will be considered.


Programme - provisional


Monday, 10th September


Registration and refreshments


Session chair:  Fabrizio Micheli, Aptuit


Opening remarks

Simone Braggio, VP Drug Design and Discovery, Aptuit, and

David Miller, Co-chairman of the GPCRs Organising Committee


KeynoteGPCR Consortium: four years of progress in structural biology
Michael Hanson, GPCR Consortium, USA


The discovery of novel dopamine D1 positive allosteric modulators for the treatment of neurodegenerative disorders

Erik Hembre, Lilly


Refreshments, exhibition and posters


Ligand and sidechain mutations by FEP simulations: two sides of the same coin to determine binding modes on GPCRs
Hugo Gutiérrez de Terán, Uppsala University, Sweden


Discovery of selective Orexin-1 receptor antagonists: optimization of selectivity, pharmacokinetics and brain penetration

Brock Shireman, Janssen, USA


Lunch, exhibition and posters



Session chair:  Sarah Skerratt, Vertex Pharmaceuticals


Trisubstituted cyclohexanes as dual antagonists of CCR2 and CCR5

Robert Cherney, BMS, USA


Discovery of potent spiroazetidine-indolinones as M1 positive allosteric modulators
Carolina Martinez Lamenca, Janssen, Belgium


Refreshments, exhibition and posters


KeynoteApplication of structure-based drug design to peptidergic GPCRs

Miles Congreve, Heptares Therapeutics, UK


Flash oral poster presentations (two-minute slots)


Poster session and drinks reception


Coaches depart Verona, a little free time


Dinner at San Matteo Church Ristorante, Verona city centre,

followed by free time



Tuesday, 11th September


Session chair:  David Miller, Inflazome


KeynoteStructure and mechanism of human CNS GPCRs

Daniel Rosenbaum, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, USA


Mining structural GPCR-ligand interaction maps to navigate medicinal chemistry space

Chris de Graaf, Heptares Therapeutics, UK and Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, The Netherlands


Refreshments, exhibition and posters


Disclosure of the clinical candidate BAY-840, a potent and selective hBradykinin B1 receptor antagonist for the treatment of chronic inflammatory diseases, generated within the Bayer-Evotec strategic alliance

Adam Davenport, Evotec


Novel and potent spirocyclic compounds as ghrelin receptor agonists
Cristina Gardelli, AstraZeneca, Sweden


Lunch, exhibition and posters



Session chair:  Caroline Low, Consultant


Keynote:  Allosteric modulators of GPCRs: theoretical and practical considerations

Arthur Christopoulos, Monash University, Australia


Hits and misses in the application of FEP to different classes of GPCRs

Herman van Vlijmen, Janssen, Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, USA


Refreshments, exhibition and posters


Rapid identification and optimization of a novel CGRP receptor antagonist chemotype

Brendan Crowley, Merck, USA


Chemical optimization of centrally acting anti-obesity agents

Lothar Schwink, Sanofi-Aventis Deutschland, Germany




Coaches depart for evening visits


Arrive Tommasi vineyard


Travel to Villa Quaranta


Arrive Villa Quaranta, dinner


Depart Villa Quaranta


Arrive Giardini Pradaval, Verona city centre



Wednesday, 12th September


Session chair:  Adrian Hall, UCB, Belgium


Keynote:  Shedding light on G protein bias: structures of GPCRs coupled to G proteins determined by cryo-EM and X-ray crystallography

Chris Tate, MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, UK


Program building and chemical devalidation of GPR39 agonism as a diabetes target

Stefan Peukert, Novartis Institute of Biomedical Research, USA


Refreshments, exhibition and posters


Triazolo-pyrimidines as adenosine receptor antagonists: an overview
Stephanie Federico, Università degli Studi di Trieste, Italy


GPCR hit identification via DNA-encoded libraries and optimization towards therapeutic agents for inflammation and oncology
Andy McRiner, X-Chem Pharmaceuticals, USA


Identification of highly selective orexin 1 receptor antagonists: structure-based scaffold modifications to improve subtype selectivity and synthesis of a novel bicyclic scaffold
Uta Lessel, Boehringer Ingelheim, Germany


Lunch, exhibition and posters



Session chair:  Caroline Low, Consultant


GPCR drug discovery with structural insights

Xiaomin Chen, Pfizer, USA


Discovery of Balovaptan, a vasopressin 1a receptor antagonist for the treatment of autism

Patrick Schnider, Roche, Switzerland


Closing remarks

Adrian Hall, Co-chairman of the GPCRs Organising Committee


Close and depart


Registration, Fees and Bursaries

Online registration - for payment by card

Registration form - for payment by bank transfer or cheque


Registration fees include Monday evening's dinner and Tuesday evening's vineyard visit and dinner.

Early rates for payments received by 5th June
£430  RSC or SCI member
£530  Non-member
£180  RSC or SCI student* member
£228  Student* non-member

Standard rates for payments received between 6th June and 8th August
£505  RSC or SCI member
£600  Non-member
£205  RSC or SCI student* member
£260  Student* non-member

Late rates for payments received from 9th August onwards
£40  Late payment fee to be added to the above standard rates

* Student is undergraduate or post-graduate, not post-doc, and does not apply to students in paid employment.
Member is paid-up member of the RSC or SCI.

Discounted rates are offered to RSC and SCI student members, and some student bursaries are available.  Closing date is 30th July.  Please download a bursary application form here.


Cancellation Policy

In the event of cancellation by 27th August, 80% of the registration fee paid will be refunded. Cancellations must be received in writing. Refunds will not be possible from 28th August onwards, although substitutions are possible at any time.

In the unlikely event of cancellation of the meeting, fees paid will be refunded in full. Registration acknowledgements will be sent within two weeks.


Accommodation, Dinners and Social Activities

For all accommodation requests (including last-minute bookings), we suggest you use the 24-hour service provided by Verona Booking, using this weblink.


The registration fees include dinners on Monday and Tuesday evening and vineyard tour.


Monday:  Meet at Ristorante San Matteo Church for dinner (choice of pizza or pasta), dessert, drinks and networking.


Tuesday:  Coach travel from Aptuit, and visit to Tommasi Vineyard with tour and post-tour drink.  Coach to Villa Quaranta for dinner, and return coach to Verona city.


Venue and Travel


Aptuit, Via Alessandro Fleming 4, 37135 Verona, Italy, telephone +39 (0)45 821 8111.  Directions may be found here.


Distances and Journey Times by Car from Aptuit:

Verona Villafranca airport, 7.5 miles, 15-20 minutes

Verona Porta Nuova railway station, 3.5 miles, 15-20 minutes

Verona city centre, 3.5 miles, 15-20 minutes.


Coaches provided by Conference

A coach service will be provided gratis between Verona city centre

(Giardini Pradaval location map) and Aptuit at the beginning and end of each day, and on a daily basis.


Transport between the Airport and Railway Station

Aerobus provides public transport between the city centre, the railway station and the airport, running every 20 minutes.  Further information may be found on this weblink and Aerobus tickets may be bought via this weblink.


Public Bus to Aptuit

Bus lines       51 and 52 (urban lines), and 148 (extra-urban line)
Direction      Sacra Famiglia / Castel d’Azzano
Bus stop        via Dell’Esperanto/Glaxo (see this map)
Website        for routes and timetable
Journey time 15-20 minutes from Verona Porta Nuova railway station, depending on traffic.

Bus-stop        plan showing location of bus-stop at Aptuit


Aptuit's preferred taxi supplier is Ready Car Service, who offer special rates when you quote “Aptuit-GPCR conference – please apply Aptuit rate”.   To book online, please use this weblink, and to book by e-mail, please use this e-mail address. 

Telephone +39 (0)45 505066

Fax            +39 (0)45 505118

Mobile       +39 (0)3497 589992 (24-hour service)


Ready Car Service Aptuit rates are:

- Verona city centre car: (3 people) 17.50€ minivan, (8 people) 23.50€
- Verona airport: car (3 people) 21€, minivan (8 people) 28.50€
- Verona railway station: similar rates to Verona city centre.
Public taxis may cost a little less on average, but rates may vary depending on journey time / traffic.


RadioTaxi App
Telephone     +39 (0)45 532666 (24-hour service)

Mobile           +39 (0)3403 210021
Fare               0.97€/km (city centre itineraries)
Payment         cash (Euro), or credit card payments upon request

                      at time of taxi booking (not AmEx).


Exhibition Opportunities

Exhibition packages are available, priced at:
£1,320     Exhibition stand including one full delegate
£1,740     Exhibition stand including two full delegates

Each exhibition package includes stand space measuring 3 m wide x 2 m deep (including table), electrical and wi-fi access, and full attendance at the technical programme, poster sessions, Monday evening dinner, and Tuesday evening vineyard visit and dinner.

Delegate pack inserts may be booked, charged at £200 (maximum of two sheets of A4 fixed together).


Special thanks to Aptuit and Evotec for supporting this event. Additional sponsors would be welcomed.



We are grateful to EFMC and COMS for supporting this event



Organising Committee

Adrian Hall (co-chairman), UCB
Caroline Low, Consultant
Jon Mason, Heptares
Fabrizio Micheli, Aptuit
David Miller (co-chairman), Inflazome
Sarah Skerratt, Vertex


Secretariat Contact

Maggi Churchouse, 3 East Barn, Market Weston Road, Thelnetham, Diss IP22 1JJ, UK

Telephone: +44 (0)1359 221004

E-mail:  maggi@maggichurchouseevents.co.uk 


Registration is open