ACRF Drug Discovery Centre for Childhood Cancer

The Australian Cancer Research Foundation (ACRF) Drug Discovery Centre for Childhood Cancer is a unique facility dedicated to the development of new anti-cancer therapeutics. Based within CCIA, and housed within the Lowy Cancer Research Centre at University of New South Wales (UNSW) the Drug Discovery Centre focuses on identifying new compounds for the treatment of both childhood and adult cancer.  

The Drug Discovery Centre uses advanced robotic automation and an array of different small molecule chemical libraries to screen for chemical hits capable of altering complex cancer cell phenotypes or biochemical pathways. The Centre is available to all medical research groups and operates on a subsidised fee-for-service basis, providing expertise and assistance in scaling laboratory assays for high-throughput and robotic small molecule screening and conducting those screening projects.


The Drug Discovery Centre has performed a wide variety of different screening projects involving the use of cancer cell lines, transgenic cell lines, patient-derived cells, cancer stem cells, and co-cultures. Clients using the Centre have identified:

(a) novel chemical hits for hit-to-lead and lead optimisation in drug development,

(b) small molecules as biological tools to further decipher the underlying cell biology involved in a specific system,

(c) synergistic and additive drug combinations,

(d) new molecular mechanisms of action,

(e) drugs for re-positioning and

(f) links between novel small molecules and genotype or therapeutic targets.


The Centre has performed screening projects for cancer and medical research groups at CCIA, UNSW, Westmead Millennium Institute for Medical Research, Telethon Institute for Child Health Research, Auckland Cancer Society Research Centre and biotechnology companies.

Contact:  Dr Greg Arndt


Phone:  1800 685 686