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GEN News Highlights : Jul 23, 2008

European Bioinformatics Institute Makes Galapagos Chemogenomic Database Publicly Available with $9.38M Grant

Technology transfer gives company $2.7 million.

The Wellcome Trust has awarded £4.7 million, or $9.38 million, to EMBL's European Bioinformatics Institute to support the transfer of Galapagos’ databases for predictive drug discovery. The data, which was offered previously through the firm’s BioFocus division, will become publicly available online to drug discovery researchers worldwide. Galapagos will receive £1.4 million, or $2.7 million, in cash.

The database will be incorporated into EMBL-EBI's collection of open-access data resources for biomedical research and will be maintained by a newly established team of scientists at EMBL-EBI.

The transfer will allow academia and small companies on limited budgets to participate in the first stages of drug discovery for all therapeutic areas. In the future it could also result in improved prediction of drug side effects, according to EMBL-EBI.

For the past eight years, researchers at BioFocus have been integrating the existing collections of information in the areas of genomics and chemistry. The aim was to compile 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.

This agreement involves a suite of databases that aids with the selection of biological targets for discovery of drug candidates based on the most appropriate drug-like chemistry starting points.  Major databases included under the agreement are: DrugStore™ (database of known drugs), StARLITe™ (database of known compounds and their effects), Strudle™ (binding site drugability), and Kinase SARfari™ and GPCR SARfari™ (informatics systems for the most widely used target classes in drug discovery).