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American Chemical Society's Weekly PressPac -- Aug. 15, 2007

um and moderate a panel discussion afterward. The symposium is part of the overall national meeting theme of Biotechnology for Health and Wellness.

They will share their perspective of taking a fundamental concept in materials and biological science and bringing that concept forward through research, and ultimately achieving commercialization of a new product, says Hunt. Many of the speakers have started their own companies or are on the boards of multiple start-up companies, she notes.

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Computers help chemists fight emerging infections

Computer analysis of existing drugs may be key to fighting new infectious agents and antibiotic-resistant pathogens like deadly tuberculosis strains and staph superbugs, according to researchers in Canada. The use of such emergency discovery technology could save time, money and lives during a sudden outbreak or a bioterrorism attack, the scientists said.

Drug repurposing or reprofiling is not new: Pharmaceutical companies have been seeking new uses of old drugs to extend patent protections and whenever new, off-label uses of the drugs are found. But reprofiling to deliberately develop emergency drugs is a new concept, made possible by advances in chemoinformatics, a new field that merges chemistry with computer science, according to Artem Cherkasov and colleagues.

In the case of new infectious threats, there might be no time to develop a completely new drug from the ground up, as the corresponding toxicological studies and regulatory investigations will take year

Contact: Michael Woods
American Chemical Society

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