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GEN News Highlights : May 20, 2010

GSK Provides Free Access to Data on 13,500 Compounds with Potential against Malaria

Screening and structural/mechanism-of-action data will be made available to worldwide scientific community.

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) hopes to give the global fight against malaria a boost by making scientific data on some 13,500 relevant compounds from its library freely available online to researchers worldwide. The initiative will provide screening data on compounds that have shown strong inhibition of the Plasmodium falciparum parasite. Information being made accessible includes chemical families that GSK is currently investigating against malaria along with mechanisms of action for compounds that it has previously tested for other indications.

The initiative has been made possible through a collaboration between GSK, the European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI), the United States National Library of Medicine (NLM), and Collaborative Drug Discovery (CDD), a U.S.-based informatics service provider. EMBL-EBI will act as the primary repository for the data through its ChEMBL resource and will index and format new information as it is added by GSK and other scientists working on the compounds. GSK says the resources are easily accessed by researchers, and specialist research tools on the site are also being made available to scientists at no extra cost. 

GSK claims that it is the first company to make the structures of so many of it compounds publicly available as part of the search for new drugs against malaria. “We are delighted that EMBL-EBI, NLM, and CDD have joined us in this worthwhile endeavor to apply the principles of open source to drug discovery for malaria,” comments Patrick Vallance, head of drug discovery.

“Defeating this disease will require many scientific minds working together. We hope researchers from across the world will now use this information to drive further studies and that other groups from the pharmaceutical industry to academia will add their information to this on-line resource.”