Cyclica Academic Partnership Program (CAPP)

Connecting academic research experts with Cyclica’s AI-augmented drug discovery platform through no cost, risk- and benefit-sharing collaborations.

Is CAPP for me?

Together with our academic partners, we will unlock the therapeutic potential of target discovery research to generate novel small molecule therapeutics for Oncology, CNS Disorders, and Inflammatory Diseases.

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Identify novel compounds for proteins of interest through Cyclica’s AI-augmented in silico screening platform.


Cyclica’s platform uses its proprietary drug-target prediction algorithm, MatchMaker, to screen massive chemical spaces (millions to billions of compounds), while simultaneously incorporating multi-parametric drug design capabilities to address both on- and off-target profiles.

Once potential molecules are identified through MatchMaker, these molecules will be further selected for specific ADME-T properties through the POEM framework.


Once your research proposal is submitted, Cyclica’s Drug Discovery Team will assess the proposals for compatibility with our platform. We will then meet with you to design the in silico screening that is tailored to your research interests. We value your input as the subject matter expert in the proposed research area, and we will work with you closely every step of the way until we agree on a collaboration proposal.

Once the collaboration agreement with your institution is signed, one of Cyclica’s Drug Discovery Scientist will be assigned to your project and conduct the in silico screening for you.


  • Access to Cyclica’s Ligand Design platform and drug discovery expertise at no cost
  • Compounds in white powder form, paid for by Cyclica, delivered to your lab for testing
  • Potential of additional funding and technical support following Hit Discovery
  • Joint publications
  • Support letter for grant applications
  • Commercialization opportunities

  • Validation of compounds using assays established in your laboratory, or within your network, in a reasonable amount of time
  • The opportunity to work with you to expand the initial hit compounds into a Lead Series or potentially Clinical Candidates
  • The opportunity to create a source of revenue for you and your institution through joint commercialization opportunities

The Request-for-Proposal (RFP) will run every 4 months, with 3 cohorts a year. All projects in a cohort will be reviewed collectively in the month following the end of each cohort, and you can expect a decision from Cyclica no later than 5 months after your submission.

The collaboration agreement with your institution may take anywhere between 1 - 3 months to complete. Following which it will take 2 - 4 weeks for the in silico screen, and another 4 -6 weeks to have the compounds delivered to your lab.


As we expect to continue investing technology and financial support in our CAPP partners from Hit Discovery to Lead Series or Clinical Candidates, we have the following strategic focus:

Therapeutic Areas:

  • Oncology
  • CNS Disorders
  • Inflammatory Diseases

Target Requirements:

  • Structurally enabled with X-Ray crystal structures, Cryo-EM, or validated homology models
  • Evidence to support the target’s therapeutic relevance and druggability

Assay Requirements:

  • Biochemical assays to validate the compounds’ interactions with the target
  • Functional assays to confirm the anticipated therapeutic effects
  • Ideally a throughput of 100 compounds (optional)

Please get in touch with Maurice Shen, PhD, Senior Manager of Academic Partnerships at maurice.shen@cyclicarx.com.

We work closely with technology transfer offices at academic institutions globally to identify collaboration opportunities and design commercialization strategies.


Our platform uses our proprietary drug-target prediction algorithm, MatchMaker, to screen a massive chemical spaces (millions to billions of compounds), while simultaneously incorporating multi-parametric drug design capabilities to address both controlling for both on- and off-target profiles.

Once potential molecules binders are identified through MatchMaker, these molecules compounds will be further filtered for specific ADME-T properties through the POEM framework.


Once research proposals are submitted by your faculties, Cyclica’s Drug Discovery Team will assess the proposals for compatibility with Ligand Design. We will then meet with the faculties individually to design the in silico screening that is tailored to each project. We value your faculties’ input as the subject experts in the proposed research area, and we will work with them closely every step along the way until we agree on a collaboration proposal.

Once the collaboration agreement with your institution is signed, one of Cyclica’s Drug Discovery Scientist will be assigned to your project and conduct the in silico screening for you.


  • Access to Cyclica’s Ligand Design platform and drug discovery expertise at no cost
  • Compounds in white powder form, paid by Cyclica, delivered to your faculties’ labs for testing
  • Potential funding and technical support following Hit Discovery
  • Support letter for your faculties’ grant applications

  • Biological knowledge on the targets and in the disease area
  • Established assays to validate the compounds from Ligand Design
  • Network of collaborators to continue the development of compounds into Lead Series or Clinical Candidates

Any background IP will be fully retained by the institution. Foreground IP specifically related to chemical matters will be shared on a sliding scale based on the level of contributions, starting with 50/50 for Hit Discovery.

We acknowledge that each institution has different policies and preferences, and we look forward to your input as we navigate IP strategies for the benefit of both parties.


Under the leadership of Mike Palovich, a drug discovery veteran from GSK and now Cyclica’s Chief Scientific Officer, we designed a drug discovery pipeline through which we will continue to develop Hit Compounds identified from the CAPP program into Lead Series or Clinical Candidates.

Known as the Cyclica Technology Flywheel, we will commit funding and technology support to selected projects to a point where commercial benefit can be realized through licensing of assets to an interested party, such as a pharma partner for clinical development. In the case of out-licensing, we are open to our academic partners taking the lead in this endeavor and we welcome a discussion with you on what is best for the project.

In addition to direct out-licensing, Cyclica has also formed a number of joint ventures with industry and academic partners. For example, Pertuba Therapeutics, EntheogeniX, and NighteenGale. This approach offers the opportunity for company creation and external investment to enable spinoff biotechs to be created, enhancing employment opportunities and value to the academic institution.

We acknowledge that each institution has different policies and preferences when it comes to commercialization, which is why we like to operate with a true partnership approach so we look forward to your input as we design the right commercialization plans for the project and the institution.


The Request-for-Proposal (RFP) will run every 4 months, with 3 cohorts a year. All projects in a cohort will be reviewed collectively in the month following the end of each cohort, and the faculties can expect a decision from Cyclica no later than 5 months after their submissions.

The collaboration agreement with your institution may take anywhere between 1 - 3 months to complete. Following which it will take 2 - 4 weeks for the in silico screen, and another 4 - 6 weeks to have the compounds delivered to the labs.


As we expect to continue investing technology and financial support in our CAPP partners from Hit Discovery to Lead Series or Clinical Candidates, we have the following strategic focus:

Therapeutic Areas:

  • Oncology
  • CNS Disorders
  • Inflammatory Diseases

Target Requirements:

  • Structurally enabled with X-Ray crystal structures, Cryo-EM, or validated homology models
  • Evidence to support the target’s therapeutic relevance and druggability

Assay Requirements:

  • Biochemical assays to validate the compounds’ interactions with the target
  • Functional assays to confirm the anticipated therapeutic effects
  • Ideally a throughput of 100 compounds (optional)

From our experience, the following approaches have worked well:

  • Working with your office to plan an info sharing session with your faculties. Interested faculties can then follow up with your office to continue the discussion
  • 1:1 introductions to your faculties by your office
  • Send out Request-for-Proposals (RFP) in email communication

Please get in touch with Maurice Shen, PhD, Senior Manager of Academic Partnerships at maurice.shen@cyclicarx.com.


Please get in touch with Maurice Shen, PhD, Senior Manager of Academic Partnerships at maurice.shen@cyclicarx.com.

Our 2021 CAPP Partners

We are thrilled to announce our new academic partnerships throughout 2021. These partners are part of the Cyclica Academic Partnership Program (CAPP), through which academic researchers can apply for in-kind access to our platforms to accelerate their drug discovery efforts.

2021 CAPP partnerships

Ready to submit your proposal?

We set an ultra-high bar and live by it everyday. We’d love to help advance your impact.