Mission: To provide service to the scientific community, such as workplace re-entry assistance for displaced researchers in the pharma/biotech industry, networking activities, and support of entrepreneurship. 

History and Research Interests: The Pennsylvania Drug Discovery Institute (PDDI) is located in the Pennsylvania Biotechnology Center (PABIO) in Doylestown, PA, and the Montgomery County Technical Center in King of Prussia, PA.  It was founded by Allen Reitz, Ph.D., and Kathleen Czupich, MBA, in June 2010.  It is a nonprofit organization that mainly provides service to the scientific community in the region.

The PDDI is a service and outreach organization that is entirely empowered by the volunteer activities of its Board of Directors and Faculty.  Our emphasis is on supporting innovative, multidisciplinary, collaborative research in drug discovery.  The PDDI also serves as a think-tank to brainstorm ways to gain efficiency and improve productivity in early-stage drug discovery research, and to improve the process of technology transfer.  The PDDI provides service to the regional scientific community by helping to re-integrate experienced and senior-level biomedical scientists, who have been laid off elsewhere, into the scientific and technical workforce.


When the PDDI was created, we conducted a review of similar Drug Discovery Centers or Institutes.  There are ~70 of these in the U.S. that are directed toward product development or research.  The product-focused drug discovery centers are staffed largely by experienced researchers with an industrial background and have a technology transfer, applied emphasis.  Examples of such organizations in Pennsylvania are found at Temple University and Drexel University.  The research-focused drug discovery centers have as a primary goal the raising of funds to support the basic research of academic scientists related to drug discovery and associated with the host institution.  The PDDI seeks to play a pivotal role in helping new biotechnology businesses start up and progress by providing guidance in forming The Team that is required for success (Figure 1), and in managing and advancing intellectual property from universities and other sources.

The PDDI is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.  Thus, contributions are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.  We have accepted large donations of glassware, small equipment, and chemical reagents and starting materials, from large- and medium-sized pharmaceutical companies.  After processing and listing these assets, they are made available to small biomedical businesses and academic institutions in the tri-state area.

Our periodic ForwardTrackTM program seeks to promote workforce re-entry assistance to qualified biomedical researchers in Pennsylvania and New Jersey who have recently lost their jobs due to no fault of their own because of mergers, acquisitions and downsizing.  Through the ForwardTrackTM, qualified senior-level research scientists are mentored in entrepreneuship and developing research plans.  Researchers are given career development advice and assistance, especially regarding networking, forming collaborations, and accessing research funding.

Fig. 1. The coordination and creation of a Plan and the Team required for successful startup of a small biotechnology company.

Information on the PDDI website is currently managed by B. Maryanoff