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Canadian scientist mines drugs database for new diabetes treatment
Date:2/23/2009

medicine. The major difference is that we have linked the computational methods commonly used by pharmaceutical companies to a freely available database of 5 million existing compounds the ZINC database. This means we cut out a hugely time consuming and financially intensive part of the process, which is difficult for small academic labs to do," Churchill said.

The team has tested their method by successfully identifying a small molecule called Ned-19. This molecule was found after information about the natural chemical NAADP was entered into the computer system and cross referenced with the ZINC database. In collaboration with scientists at the University of Southampton, led by A.Ganesan, Ned-19 was prepared on a larger scale and separated. Further experiments were carried out with these compounds to confirm the activity of Ned-19. Using Ned-19 in experiments they have discovered that NAADP plays a crucial role in insulin secretion and therefore represents a brand new target for diabetes drugs.

Churchill continued: "Unfortunately, asking someone to take Ned-19 would actually give them diabetes! But now that we know how important NAADP is we can start to look for drugs that work with NAADP to increase insulin secretion rather than decrease it. In fact, we have colleagues who are already working on this using our tool."

Professor Douglas Kell, BBSRC Chief Executive said: "This is great news for our community of researchers and will provide a powerful tool for research in the future. This discovery about insulin secretion shows how important it is to have centrally held data repositories that are free to access. Such sharing of data and information can have really significant impact, right across the board."


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Contact: Nancy Mendoza
press.office@bbsrc.ac.uk
01-793-413-355
Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
Source:Eurekalert

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