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Showing posts from October, 2011

Meeting: Drug Discovery Oxford 2012 - Drug discovery: a job too complex for academia or industry alone?

There is a great meeting being held in Oxford just after the Christmas break (specifically on the 5th and 6th January 2012), it's organised by the Structural Genomics Consortium, one of the longest existing advocates of Open Science in Drug Discovery.

Details of the meeting are here.

Meeting: 7th German Conference on Chemoinformatics

A meeting that may be of interest to many of you - the GCC 2011 7th German Conference on Chemoinformatics, to be held from November 6th to 8th 2011 in Goslar, Germany.

The Bioinformoustachians!

The EBI has a team entered for the annual Movember fund raising event - this is focussed on raising money for 'male cancers' - testicular and prostate. The team is called The Bioinformoustachians!, so please consider sponsoring us over the coming month. Of course, as well as raising money for a serious cause, there will be some fun along the way as well. Watch over the next few days, as the full team signs up - we're gonna raise Loadsamoney (hopefully).

For those unfamiliar with the idea - participants are clean shaved at the start and grow a moustache throughout the month gaining sponsorship for looking stylish/silly.

The team webpage on the movember website is here. Please consider donating, and help us, together, make a difference.

New Drug Approvals 2011 - Pt. XXVIII Clobazam (OnfiTM)

ATC Code:N05BA09
Wikipedia:Clobazam

On October 24th, the FDA approved Clobazam (Tradename: OnfiTM; Research Code: RU-4723), a GABAA receptor agonist, for the adjunctive treatment of seizures associated with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS) in patients aged two years or older.
Lenox-Gastaut syndrome is a rare and severe form of epilepsy that is typically diagnosed in childhood and often persists into adulthood. LGS accounts for 1-4% of childhood epilepsies, and it is associated with multiple types of seizures, as well as, daily periods of frequent seizures.
Clobazam decreases the frequency of the LGS seizures by potentiating GABAergic neurotransmission, trough the binding of the GABAA receptor at the benzodiazepine site.
GABAA receptor is a protein complex of five subunits (mainly α2β2γ) located in the synapses of neurons. All GABAA receptors contain an ion channel that conducts chloride ions across neuronal cell membranes and two binding sites for the neurotransmitter GABA, while a sub…

New Drug Approvals 2011 - Pt. XXVII Deferiprone (FerriproxTM)

ATC code V03AC02WikipediaDeferiprone
On October 14th, 2011 FDA announced the approval of Deferiprone (trade name: FerriproxTM) for the treatment of iron overload which is potentially fatal in patients with thalassemia. Deferiprone is an oral iron chelating agent, binding excess iron in the blood and thus making it available to excretion from the body. Thalassaemia is a inherited (mostly autosomal recessive) blood disease that can lead to anemia by causing the formation of abnormal hemoglobin molecules not able to properly bind and release oxygen. Thalassaemia (OMIM: 141800 (α-) / 141900 (β-)) is sub-classified according to which of the subunits of the hetero-tetrameric (2α/2β, UniProt: P69905 / P68871) hemoglobin is affected, contrary to sickle-cell anaemia (OMIM: 603903) which results exclusively from a specific mutation in the β subunit. The primary treatment of thalassaemia major, the severe form of β-thalassaemia, requires frequent blood transfusions to establish stable levels o…

Recruitment - Two positions in ChEMBL team now available

We have two posts available in the ChEMBL group - one a web developer, and the other a data integration post. The positions are both for three years and will be EMBL staff contracts. Closing dates for applications is the 27th November 2011.

Further details should be available here (the links are quite fragile I'm afraid, so sorry if they do not keep working for long)


Web Developer (EBI_00145)Data Integration (EBI_00144)

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us.

PhD studentship at the Institute of Cancer Research

From the lab of one of our collaborators comes the following......

Details of forthcoming PhD studentships at The Institute of Cancer Research ICR are now on-line; There are 12 studentships across a range of different disciplines including Biology, Chemistry, Informatics and Medical Physics. The deadline for applications is 1st December 2011.

There is a specific studentship of likely interest to ChEMBL-og readers - Identifying novel targets and target combinations for cancer using in-silico chemical biology, within the Computational Biology and Chemogenomics Team of the ICR.


This is a computational biology/lab biology PhD jointly between Dr. Bissan Al-Lazikani and Prof. Paul Workman. The project is an exciting multi-disciplnary project that will utilise bioinformatics and chemogenomics techniques, protein interaction network modelling as well as laboratory biology to identify novel drug intervention targets (and compounds) for use in combination therapies with best-in-class HSP90 inhi…

Want to help shape the future of ChEMBL?

We are planning to hold two half-day (fun) workshops in mid February next year (i.e. the week of February 13th 2012). Aimed at medicinal chemists and molecular modellers - the idea is to develop easy to use workflows for several key tasks that drug discoverers often want to do, and could do more efficiently with the ChEMBL data.

The workshops will be on campus here at Hinxton, and will start around 10.30am and finish around 3pm (lunch, coffee and cakes will be provided); the focus will be on....


Day 1 - Use of ChEMBL in lead optimisationDay 2 - Use of ChEMBL for library design/compound purchase

If you are interested in helping, please mail us, and tell us what session you'd most like to attend. Space will be limited to around 8 attendees.

Why Movember is Important

'Excluding skin cancer, prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among men in the US and the second most common cause of cancer death among men. It is estimated that about 1 in 6 men in the US will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during their lifetime and 1 in 36 will die from this disease.'


Quote from Cancer Facts & Figures 2010. American Cancer Society

Paper: canSAR

One of our collaborators has just published a paper in NAR Database issue on an integrative system for Anticancer Drug Discovery - canSAR.

%J Nucleic Acids Research %D 2011 %O doi:10.1093/nar/gkr881 %T canSAR: an integrated cancer public translational research and drug discovery resource %A M.D. Halling-Brown %A K.C. Bulusu %A M. Patel %A J.E. Tym %A B. Al-Lazikani The website for canSAR is https://cansar.icr.ac.uk/

Some Downtime is Coming Up....

Our Hinxton Data centre is being shutdown this coming weekend (Saturday 22nd and Sunday 23rd October 2011) for some essential maintenance. Most of the ChEMBL services will still run through this period from our London Data Centers.

The key exception to this is the Structure-based Druggability Service and Portal (www.ebi.ac.uk/chembl/drugebility).

Further details of the shutdown can be found here.

Registration Open for EMBO Chemical Biology 2012

Registration is open for the (excellent) EMBO Chemical Biology 2012 meeting.

UKQSAR and ChemoInformatics Group Autumn 2011

The UKQSAR and ChemoInformatics Group Autumn 2011 Meeting, jointly hosted by Accelrys and Astex, will be held on Thursday November 3rd at the Accelrys European Headquarters in Cambridge.


Details of the one day meeting can be found here. Looks a great meeting.

Are You Ready For Movember?

EMBL and Russian Foundation for Basic Research call for Proposals

On 1 October 2011, EMBL and the Russian Foundation for Basic Research (RFBR) issued a call for joint projects. The 2012 call for financial support for a basic research project covers the following priority areas:
Structural biologyGenomicsBiomolecular chemistryCell biology/imagingTechnology development XFEL life scienceHigh-performance computing Biomolecular Chemistry will include Chemical Biology, Cheminformatics, Chemogenomics, QSAR, Predictive Toxicology, Virtual Screening, etc. The supported research must be carried out jointly by Russian and EMBL scientists and be of mutual interest. The call is open until 30 November 2011. If any Russian Federation scientists are interested in working with ChEMBL on an application for this funding call, please get in touch.