The Wellcome Trust has awarded 4.7 million (5.8 million) to EMBL's European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI) to support the transfer of a large collection of information on the properties and activities of drugs and a large set of drug-like small molecules from publicly listed company Galapagos NV to the public domain. It will be incorporated into the EMBL-EBI's collection of open-access data resources for biomedical research and will be maintained by a newly established team of scientists at the EMBL-EBI. These data lie at the heart of translating information from the human genome into successful new drugs in the clinic.
The human genome sequence provided a molecular 'parts list' for a human being, comprising all the genes and proteins that are encoded by our genetic blueprint. But to develop new medicines, it is important to catalogue how each of these 'parts' interacts with drugs and drug-like molecules. This interface of the genome with chemistry is a core part of the new scientific area of chemogenomics. For the past eight years, researchers at BioFocus DPI, the service division of Galapagos, have been integrating the existing collections of information in these two areas to develop 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. BioFocus DPI licensed this information to pharmaceutical and biotech companies worldwide. As part of the Wellcome Trust grant announced today, the EBI will obtain the rights to the databases from BioFocus DPI. The award will make it possible to provide free access to this information for all researchers. "The scientific community worldwide will greatly benefit from unrestricted access to these data. It will aid their efforts in predictive drug discovery," says Galapagos CEO Onno van de Stolpe. "Galapagos has successfully accelerated its research programmes with these, and BioFocus DPI used the data to d
|Contact: Cath Brooksbank|
European Molecular Biology Laboratory