Thursday, January 24, 2013
Researchers at the University of Dundee and The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of
Medicine have created a
computational algorithm that mines medicinal chemistry literature to predict
new ligands that bind specific combinations of G protein-coupled receptors.1 Ex Scientia Ltd.
was spun out of Dundee to commercialize the findings and already has two deals
in place related to the screening technology.
The biggest limitation of the
computational drug design approach is the need for existing medicinal chemistry
data, making it unlikely the method can be applied to new targets.
The leading edge
Hopkins now is working to incorporate
structural information into the algorithm. He hopes this will open the method
up to identifying ligands against previously unknown targets or ligands that
interact at new sites on targets. The team also is pursuing the application of
the method to other target classes, such as kinases.
Kotz, J. SciBX 6(3); doi:10.1038/scibx.2013.50 Published online Jan.
1. Besnard, J. et al.
Nature; published online Dec. 12, 2012; doi:10.1038/nature11691 Contact:
Andrew L. Hopkins, University of Dundee, Dundee, U.K. e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact: Bryan Roth, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
School of Medicine, Chapel Hill, N.C. e-mail: email@example.com
AND INSTITUTIONS MENTIONED
Dainippon Sumitomo Pharma Co. Ltd. (Tokyo:4506; Osaka:4506), Osaka, Japan
Eisai Co. Ltd. (Tokyo:4523; Osaka:4523), Tokyo, Japan
Ex Scientia Ltd., Dundee, U.K.
Heptares Therapeutics Ltd., Welwyn Garden City, U.K.
Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE), New York, N.Y.
Sunovion Pharmaceuticals Inc., Marlborough, Mass.
University of Dundee, Dundee, U.K.
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of
Medicine, Chapel Hill,