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Showing posts from January, 2011

The ChEMBL Group, Staff and Funding (Jan 2011)

I've put together some slides for an internal meeting, and I thought they may be interesting to the wider world, maybe.

The ChEMBL group currently has fifteen staff located at the EMBL-EBI. We perform both 'Service' and 'Research' work within the group, with the distribution plotted below. The total service resourcing is 9.8 people (65% of staff), with the majority directed towards development and support of the various  ChEMBL resources. (All numbers refer to number of staff positions)


The breakdown of funding sources for the group are as follows. 

New Drug Approvals 2011 - Pt. III Ioflupane 123I (DaTSCANTM)

ATC code :V09AB03

On January 14th 2011, the FDA approved Ioflupane 123I (USAN: Ioflupane I123 USAN date: 2009 tradename: DaTSCAN, NDA 022454)) for the imaging of dopamine transporters in the brain of adult patients with potential Parkinsonian Syndromes. Ioflupane is a radiopharmaceutical agent intended for use with single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) imaging, to help physicians differentiate essential tremor, from tremor due to Parkinsonian Syndromes.

Ioflupane 123I binds to, and allows imaging of, the Dopamine Transporter (DaT) (Ki = 0.62 nM IC50 = 0.71 nM). Synonym:SLC6A3 UniProt:Q01959 Pfam:PF00209). Variation or malfunction of the Dopamine Transporter is linked to many neurological and psychiatric disorders.
The chemical structure of Ioflupane (IUPAC: methyl(1S,3S,4S,5R)-8-(3-fluoropropyl)-3-(4-iodanylphenyl)-8-azabicyclo[3.2.1]octane-4-carboxylate PubChem: CID3086674) is a tropane derivative; tropanes are a class of natural product alkaloids found in a large numb…

New Drug Approvals 2011 - Pt. II Vilazodone hydrochloride (ViibrydTM)

ATC code (partial):N06A
On January 21st 2011, the FDA approved Vilazodone hydrochloride for the treatment of major depressive disorder (MDD) (research code: EMD-68843, tradename:Viibryd) (NDA 022567). MDD is a mental disorder believed to arise from abnormal levels of neurotransmitters (primarily serotonin) in the central nervous system. Symptoms are of broad spectrum and typically include depressed mood, fatigue, change of appetite and weight and suicidal thoughts, or attempted suicide. There are already a large number of therapeutics available for the treatment of MDD including the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) fluoxetine (ChEMBL41), sertraline (ChEMBL809), paroxetine (CHEMBL569172) and more recently escitalopram (CHEMBL1508). A number of other mechanisms have been explored for treatment of depression, including drugs such as against the serotonin receptor 5HT1A - such as buspirone (research code:BMS-528215, tradename:BuSpar)CHEMBL49) and flesinoxan (clinical trial …

ChEMBL visit New York March 2011

Some of us are travelling to New York on business the week of 21st March 2011. We have some space in our schedule for portions of Tuesday the 22nd and Wednesday the 23rd, so if there is interest in meeting up for a coffee, a small seminar on ChEMBL, some training, etc., let me know. We'll probably stay somewhere on the upper East Side, but would be happy to travel to you to meet up.

2011 EIPOD Fellowships with ChEMBL

EMBL run a vibrant postdoctoral fellowship programme called EIPOD. This funds interdisciplinary projects between research groups within EMBL. The 2011 appointment process is just starting, and we are pleased to announce that the ChEMBL group is involved in two projects this year - both based around using informatics techniques to improve Drug Discovery. EIPOD projects have multiple supervisors, with one lab acting as the lead and primary host for the postdoc. Projects are either selected from an approved list, or the candidate can develop their own interdisciplinary project following consultation with the relevant group leaders.

The first project is part of our interest in mining the Internet for clinical development candidate data, delivering an open resource for data-mining and also to lower barriers to data sharing and collaboration. This EIPOD addresses part of this broader project (a sort of ‘Open Source Competitive Intelligence Resource for Drug Discovery’), and specifically loo…

New Drug Approvals 2011 - Pt. I Spinosad (NatrobaTM)

partial ATC code: P03A
The first FDA new drug approval of 2011 is Spinosad, approved on Jan 18th 2011 (NDA 022408). Spinosad (tradename: Natroba) is a pediculicide, indicated for the topical treatment of head lice (the parasitic insect Pediculus humanus capitis) infestations in patients aged over four years of. One gram of Natroba contains 9 mg of Spinosad as a viscous suspension.

Spinosad has a unique mode of action that is different from all other known pediculicides. Spinosad causes excitation of the insect nervous system, leading to involuntary muscle contractions, prostration tremors and finally paralysis and death. These effects are similar to those associated with the activation of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs), and there is evidence that insect nAChRs are involved in the mechanism of action of spinosyn A and D (two active components of Spinosad) a representative nAChR for a target species is Drosophila melanogaster nAChR Dalpha6 (UniProt:Q86MN8).  nAChRs are choli…