Chemical Structure


Click on the links below to read more about latest news, events and articles.

  • John Dixon opens Robinson Building at Chesterford Park

    John Dixon was invited to open the Robinson Building, situated at Chesterford Research Park at an opening cereomy on 3rd September 2015.

    The £25m building demonstrates the long-term commitment to science in the UK and at Chesterford Park by Galapagos, and fully endorsed by Charles River. The building is designed to hold a minimum of 200 people and there is further expansion possible.

    The building incorporates new technology in its design, making it more energy efficient than other buildings on the Park. The radioisotope labs were complimented by the Environment Agency Inspector.

    Chesterford Park builds on 60 years of continuous R&D and is now home to innovative biotechs and pharmaceutical companies such as Isogenica, Illumina and BioFocus, a community that have amassed an impressive record for producing cutting-edge technology and ground-breaking scientific discoveries. Underpinning these successes is a Park environment that offers a flexible range of accommodation, ideally suited to companies at all stages of development and a highly supportive Park team, who truly understand tenant’s objectives.

    For more information about Chesterford Park, please click here.

    Photo caption - Kate Hillyard, Vice President of Biology at BioFocus/Charles River with John Dixon of JD International Consulting.

    John Dixon cutting the ribbon with Kate Hillyard Vice President of Biology at BioFocus/Charles River
  • Choice of Drug Discovery CROs - blog

    In today's high-stakes world of early drug discovery, high-value CROs are often the voice of experience. So, 'be selective' is the message from John Dixon, in his guest blog for Charles River. To read the blog in full, click here.


  • RSC Mastering MedChem Symposium - 25 February 2015

    JD International Consulting's John Dixon will be speaking at the forthcoming RSC Mastering MedChem Symposium on Thursday 26 February 2015 at Burlington House in London.

    There are two types of drug discovery programmes: those that hit serious problems and those that are going to hit serious problems. The difference between success and failure is how we, as medicinal chemists, tackle and resolve the problems. This, the 1st RSC-BMCS Symposium on mastering medicinal chemistry, is aimed at all those who wish to become better drug hunters and heed warnings from the past.

    The one-day symposium has a line up of speakers from the industry including Simon Campbell, Hugo Kubinyi, Paul Leeson, Jack Li and Youssef L Bennani. John Dixon joins the line up to share the story of the invention of Brilinta - a project which started at Fisons in 1990 and continued in Astra when Brilinta was discovered in 1998. John will discuss the journey to discovery that involved a team of 50 people and will highlight the challenges faced on the way to discovering Brilinta (Ticagrelor), an antiplatelet medication which is used today with aspirin to lower a patient's chance of having another heart attack, stroke or blood clot.

    For more information, the full programme and details on how to register, please click here.

  • The Secrets of Success: CRO views of successful outsourcing - SCI conference

    John Dixon has been invited to speak at the forthcoming SCI event on the 30th September 2014 in London.

    Entitled "The Secrets of Success: CRO views of successful outsourcing" the one-day event is set to attract those involved in outsourcing at all levels within customer and CRO organisations in the life science industry, as well as those thinking about outsourcing in the future. In particular, those involved in the planning of outsourced projects and those at the interface between customer and provider, as it will provide lessons directly from CROs’ experiences.

    John's talk will focus on outsourcing drug discovery from the perspective on an independent consultant.

    For more information click here.

  • A Sense of Freedom

    Having worked in the industry all of my life, I have a continued passion and concern for the future of British science and the discovery of new medicines. Read an extract of my recent interview with Jane Ellis of Manufacturing Chemist.

    (Subscribers to Manufacturing Chemist, will be able to see the full interview)


  • Malcolm Campbell Award in Medicinal Chemistry awarded to team behind the discovery of Brilinta

    The team behind the discovery of Brilinta has been awarded the "Malcolm Campbell award in Medicinal Chemistry" sponsored by the Royal Society of Chemistry.

    The Brilinta project started at Fisons in 1990, continued in Astra and Brilinta was discovered in 1998 before the merger with Zeneca. AstraZeneca dealt with the development of the drug which was approved worldwide during 2010 - 2012.

    Brilinta (Ticagrelor) is an antiplatelet medication which is used with aspirin to lower a patient's chance of having another heart attack, stroke or blood clot.

    Malcolm Campbell was professor of Chemistry at Bath. A friend of John's, Malcolm had been appointed as a consultant and had been involved in discussions about the project in the early 1990s. Commenting at the ceremony, John Dixon said, "I am sure Malcolm would have been delighted to see that all the challenges which we had discussed were eventually solved successfully by my colleagues. I would like to remember Malcolm for his enthusiasm and encouragement to all us involved in UK drug discovery at that time."

    The Fisons-Astra discovery involved a team of 50 people, a small number of key people attended the award ceremony held at the RSC Cambridge Medicinal Chemistry Symposium in September 2013.

    Image caption (L-R): Julian Huppart, MP for Cambridge, Garry Pairaudeau, John Dixon, David Chapman, Bob Humphries, Simon Guile. 


  • Neomed reveals the composition of its scientific advisory board

    Montreal-based NEOMED, a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to drug discovery and development, has announced the composition of its Scientific Advisory Board.

    Consisting of members of the highest calibre, the international committee is working regularly with the NEOMED team to assist in the evaluation of new opportunities. The committee also provides unique expertise in assisting the progression of NEOMED's pipeline.

    John Dixon, Director of JD International Consulting Ltd, has been appointed chair and will work with the members, all of whom are international experts from diverse and complementary areas in drug discovery and development.

    "In the changing world of pharmaceutical R&D, many new models are emerging. NEOMED is an exciting example. It is my pleasure to help NEOMED management in this venture and a great privilege to chair the Scientific Advisory Board. At this stage we concentrate on evaluating new project opportunities in many therapeutic areas. Our role will evolve as NEOMED evolves. I look forward to interacting and learning from my Board colleagues whilst pursuing new ventures for the benefit of NEOMED, the project originators and patients," said John Dixon, Chairman of the Scientific Advisory Board.

    The group has already met in Montreal and will continue to support NEOMED's efforts throughout its future activities.

    For more information, click here.

  • RSC Medicinal Chemistry Summer School 2013

    This year's RSC Medicinal Chemistry Summer School was held at Loughborough University in June. John Dixon of JD International Consulting Ltd was invited to present to the 60 registered delegates.

    His presentation topics were 'Medicinal chemistry opportunities and obligations in providing better drugs' and 'Invention of Brilinta.'

    For more information on the topics covered please contact John Dixon.


  • European School of Medicinal Chemistry, Urbino - Drugs for Respiratory Diseases. July 2013

    John Dixon has been invited to give 2 lectures at the 32nd Edition of the European School of Medicinal Chemistry in Urbino this July. For more information, click here.

  • JD Appointed to Chair Scientific Advisory Board of the Neomed Institute

    Launched in 2012, Neomed and the Neomed Institute in Montreal represent a novel approach to drug discovery and development aiming primarily at helping translate early stage innovations into solid partnership opportunities.

    Its Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) is composed of international key opinion leaders and scientists with broad expertise in drug discovery and development. The SAB plays an active role in the evaluation of in-licensing opportunities and NEOMED pipeline’s development. The SAB members meet regularly with the NEOMED team to maximize the chances of success of each potential drug in the pipeline.

    JD was appointed Chair of the SAB in 2012 and the first meeting took place in 2013.

    For more information on Neomed click here.

  • A Business Model for UK Drug Discovery

    With the loss of pharma R&D in the UK, we need integrated centres to tackle complex problems and targets, says John Dixon on page 15 of RSC News

  • Healthcare Innovations - speaking at the Royal Society of Chemistry

    John Dixon recently appeared as a guest speaker at the Royal Society of Chemistry where he spoke to the audience about the discovery of Brilinta, a potential blockbuster drug for treating antithrombotic conditions, whose journey began from a chemical starting point of ATP. Click here to view the video.