Not all targets are created equal, and as fate would have it, some of the best ones often require the most work in order to generate a lead compound. Tularik Inc. believes its acquisition of Protherics plc's Computer-Aided Molecular Design operations for virtual screening will give it an extra angle from which to attack these "extra-challenging" targets.

"Every now and then you get a target that no compounds in your library fit," said Juan Jaen, vice president of chemistry at TLRK. "We didn't want to be limited to the universe of compounds in our existing library. With CAMD, we'll be able to supplement the physical high throughput