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Scripps Research and MIT scientists discover class of potent anti-cancer compounds
Date:3/7/2011

LA JOLLA, CA, AND JUPITER, FL March 7, 2011 Embargoed by the journal PNAS until March 7, 2011, 3 PM, Eastern time Working as part of a public program to screen compounds to find potential medicines and other biologically useful molecules, scientists from The Scripps Research Institute and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have discovered an extremely potent class of potential anti-cancer and anti-neurodegenerative disorder compounds. The scientists hope their findings will one day lead to new therapies for cancer and Alzheimer's disease patients.

The researchscheduled for publication in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) the week of March 7, 2011was led by Benjamin F. Cravatt III, professor and chair of the Department of Chemical Physiology at Scripps Research and a member of its Skaggs Institute for Chemical Biology, and MIT chemistry professor Gregory Fu.

"It was immediately clear that a single class of compounds stood out," said Daniel Bachovchin, a graduate student in the Cravatt lab and the study's first author. "The fact that these compounds work so potently and selectively in cancer cells and mice, right off the screening deck and before we'd done any medicinal chemistry, is very encouraging and also very unusual."

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The National Institutes of Health (NIH) Common Fund Molecular Libraries Program currently funds nine screening and medicinal chemistry-related centers at academic institutions around the United States to enable scientists to find biologically interesting molecules, independently of commercial labs (http://mli.nih.gov/mli/mlpcn/mlpcn-probe-production-centers/). In these centers, academic scientists can test thousands of compounds at once through high-throughput screens against various biological targets to uncover "proof-of-concept" molecules useful in studying human health and in developing new treatments for
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Contact: Mika Ono
mikaono@scripps.edu
858-784-2052
Scripps Research Institute
Source:Eurekalert

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