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UCSF Enters Drug Discovery Agreement with Genentech
Date:2/18/2010

ing and follow-up medicinal chemistry. The center performs biochemical and cell-based assays using liquid handling robots and a screening library of more than 180,000 compounds. It also houses a group of medicinal chemistry researchers who optimize screening hits into drug leads. Over the past four years, the center has grown to 18 biologists and chemists, many with pharmaceutical experience.

The center is based on high-throughput screening, medicinal chemistry, and fragment-based screening, including a novel approach called “Tethering,” which Wells pioneered in his previous role as founder, president, and chief scientific officer at Sunesis Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

The center acts as a central research facility for scientists whose research would benefit from such technology. Its ultimate goal is to help pave the way for the discovery of new small molecules for research and potential therapeutics.

Small-molecule drugs -- which target a specific protein or enzyme that modulates a biochemical or cellular process and have the potential to alter disease states -- have traditionally been highly effective but are difficult to identify through standard, high-throughput screening.

QB3 is a cooperative effort among private industry and more than 200 scientists at UCSF, UC Berkeley and UC Santa Cruz. The institute harnesses the quantitative sciences of information technology, imaging and engineering to integrate and enhance scientific understanding of biological systems at all levels, enabling scientists to tackle problems that have been previously unapproachable. For more information, visit www.qb3.org.

The UCSF School of Pharmacy is the nation’s premier graduate-level school of pharmacy, the oldest pharmacy school in the western U.S., and a wellspring for discovery and innovation in the pharmaceutical sciences, education, and the p
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