Thursday, August 26, 2010

Open Notebook Science in Drug Discovery at Opal Event

I presented on "Open Notebook Science in Drug Discovery" on August 24, 2010 at a panel on Industry and Academia part of the Opal Event "Drug Discovery: Easing the Bottleneck".
I only had about 15 minutes to present so I could not go into much detail but I did want to highlight the most recent work Andrew Lang and I (also with Peter Li from ChemTaverna) carried out involving solubility prediction and web services. Most of the attendees were from industry and I appropriately used the recent GSK malaria data sharing to introduce the talk. It is clear that there is a role for Open Science in drug discovery and I think that industry involvement will continue to increase in this area.

My co-panelist Rathindra Bose from Ohio University presented on his group's development of a novel cancer treatment compound based on platinum. He made the point that academic research complements that from industry by being able to explore more speculative hypotheses. The dominant hypothesis for the mechanism of action of platinum based drugs is binding with DNA. By exploring alternative scenarios, his group found an active platinum drug that does not bind with DNA.

During the preceding session on the Emergence of Biologics in Drug Discovery, Albert Giovanella from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine gave a particularly enlightening talk about comparing biologics with small molecule drugs. Although biological drugs tend to have less toxicity, the overall cost to bring them to market is still quite high and their cost to the consumer may be so high as to limit their impact. It looks like it will not be generally easy to translate new biomedical knowledge to a widespread impact on human health.

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At 12:28 AM, Blogger Maria said...


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