The Wellcome Trust has awarded £4.7 million (€5.8 million) to EMBL’s European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI) to support the transfer of a large collection of information on the properties and activities of drugs and a large set of drug-like small molecules from publicly listed company Galapagos NV to the public domain.
It will be incorporated into the EMBL-EBI’s collection of open-access data resources for biomedical research and will be maintained by a newly established team of scientists at the EMBL-EBI. These data lie at the heart of translating information from the human genome into successful new drugs in the clinic.
The human genome sequence provided a molecular ‘parts list’ for a human being, comprising all the genes and proteins that are encoded by our genetic blueprint. But to develop new medicines, it is important to catalogue how each of these ‘parts’ interacts with drugs and drug-like molecules. This interface of the genome with chemistry is a core part of the new scientific area of chemogenomics.
For the past eight years, researchers at BioFocus DPI, the service division of Galapagos, have been integrating the existing collections of information in these two areas to develop a set of well-structured chemogenomic databases that can be used to help determine whether a particular molecule has the right properties to make an effective drug. BioFocus DPI licensed this information to pharmaceutical and biotech companies worldwide. As part of the Wellcome Trust grant announced today, the EBI will obtain the rights to the databases from BioFocus DPI. The award will make it possible to provide free access to this information for all researchers. “The scientific community worldwide will greatly benefit from unrestricted access to these data.
It will aid their efforts in predictive drug discovery,” says Galapagos CEO Onno van de Stolpe. “Galapagos has successfully accelerated its research programmes with these, and BioFocus DPI used the data to deliver on its contracts with customers. After this transfer, which we hope will contribute to the advancement of drug discovery research by improving access to the data that we have collected, we will continue to use these resources.”
The transfer will empower academia to participate in the first stages of drug discovery for all therapeutic areas, including major diseases of the developing world. In future it could also result in improved prediction of drug side-effects. “We are excited to be able to provide information that defines the effects of a large number of small molecules on the body, and link this to the proteins that these molecules interact with, as part of our mission to provide wide access to bioinformatics tools to promote scientific progress and disseminate cutting-edge technologies to industry,” says EMBL-EBI Director Janet Thornton. “With this transfer, we aim to facilitate faster and better drug discovery. It speaks to the importance of this information for translational research that the Wellcome Trust has chosen to support this particular transfer with sufficient long-term funding.”
This unprecedented transfer of pharmaceutical data resources from the private sector to the public domain will have the greatest impact on researchers in academia and in small companies on limited budgets. “The Wellcome Trust has a strong commitment to making vital research tools freely available to the academic research community,” says Dr Alan Schafer, Head of Molecular and Physiological Sciences at theWellcome Trust. “Enabling these previously proprietary data to enter the public domain will allow researchers worldwide to make free use of knowledge essential for drug discovery.
Cath Brooksbank | alfa
Yuan Chang and Patrick Moore win prize for the discovery of two cancer viruses
14.03.2017 | Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main
BMBF funding for diabetes research on pancreas chip
08.02.2017 | Helmholtz Zentrum München - Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Gesundheit und Umwelt
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...
20.03.2017 | Event News
14.03.2017 | Event News
07.03.2017 | Event News
24.03.2017 | Materials Sciences
24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy