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Vol. LIX, No. 23
November 16, 2007
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NIH Gains Access to Drug Discovery Resource

NCI and NHGRI recently announced a new project that will provide NIH access to the world’s supply of synthetic chemistry available for drug discovery. Once fully formed, the project will provide a strategy for all NIH scientists to circulate requests for specific chemical samples among thousands, if not tens of thousands, of synthetic chemists at suppliers registered in the system.  

Sample quantities will range from milligram up to kilogram. Suppliers will be given tools that allow them to review requests and make proposals to NIH scientists for the synthesis of substances. It is expected that using the new strategy will allow NIH to acquire chemical samples at less than 10 percent of the internal cost of synthesis while offering access to worldwide chemical expertise and diversity.

Medicinal chemists at NCI and NHGRI are currently synthesizing new compounds that may lead to new treatments for disease. Creation of new compounds is slow and expensive. To accelerate the process, NCI’s computer-aided drug design group, led by Dr. Marc Nicklaus in the Laboratory of Medicinal Chemistry at NCI-Frederick, formed an agreement with ChemNavigator.com, Inc., for license to use the iResearch System as a strategy to access world-wide chemistry sources.

ChemNavigator’s iResearch Library (iRL) will provide NIH with a comprehensive source of information on available chemistry for pharmaceutical research. The iRL currently includes over 20 million chemical structures that represent approximately 40 million chemical samples and synthetic building blocks used in early drug discovery. Combined with ChemNavigator’s Chemistry Procurement Service, iRL provides NIH scientists a comprehensive strategy for identifying and procuring available chemical substances. However, ChemNavigator believes iRL covers only a small fraction of the potential chemical substances that could be secured from nearly a thousand commercial, academic and government supplier sources around the world.

Once implemented, the new system will become an archive of commercially accessible custom chemistry products for pharmaceutical research. It is expected that the database will grow to more than 250 million substances in the coming 2 years. NIH Record Icon

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