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Showing posts from May, 2012

Costs of Assays

I'm giving some talks over the summer, and am getting bored with some of the stuff I have, so I'm thinking of some new stuff to put in to add a bit of variety and interest. I'm getting interested in thinking about assay level attrition, and trying to put more of a taxonomy and inter-relationship mapping between assays used in drug discovery. As part of this, there is a cost component for each type of assay, going from very cheap to really really expensive. Here's a little picture from the presentation I've put together - I used educated guesses for the costs, so please, please critique them !

So, what do people think of the guesstimates of costs per compound per assay point on the picture above. I know it is really variable, there are startup costs to set something up, etc, etc. But what do you think about the orders of magnitude, are they about right? One of the key features of the numbers I've put there, are that there are big transitions at the switch betwe…

ChEMBL Webinar 16th May 'Schema & SQL Querying' - Posted by Louisa

This is a last call for people wanting to sign up for the "Schema & SQL Querying" webinar that will be hosted this Wednesday 16th May at 3.30pm (BST).

It will be a 45 minute webinar that will take you through the ChEMBL schema and also how to use SQL queries to extract data from the database.

Remember to register your interest in our webinars on the Doodle Poll. Make sure that you leave your **email address** as well as your name so that we can send the connection details to you. Any problems, please contact

For those of you who can't make it to this webinar, we will be hosting it again on the 27th June.

New Drug Approvals 2012 - Pt. XI - Taliglucerase alfa (ElelysoTM)

ATC code:A16AB11Wikipedia: Taliglucerase alfa
On May 1, the FDA approved taliglucerase alfa for the treatment of Type I Gaucher's disease. Gaucher's disease is the most common of the lysosomal storage diseases. It is a hereditary disease caused by a deficiency of the enzyme β-glucocerebrosidase (Uniprot: P04062), also called β-Glucosidase. Gaucher's disease is a rare genetic disease with an incidence of 1 in 50,000 births and is considered an orphan disease. Type I Gaucher's disease is about 100 times more common in people of Ashkenazi jewish descent compared a north American population. Symptoms of type I Gaucher's disease begin typically in early adulthood and include enlarged liver and grossly enlarged spleen, impaired bone structure, anemia and low platelet levels, leading to prolonged bleeding and easy bruising. If enzyme replacement therapy (ERT) is available, the prognosis for patients with type I Gaucher's disease is good.

β-Glucocerebrosidase is an enzym…

Deadline Approaching for Computational Drug Discovery Course

The deadline of 7th May is quickly approaching to register for the course we are hosting, here in Hinxton - "Joint EMBL-EBI and Wellcome Trust Resources for Computational Drug Discovery". This joint EBI-Wellcome Trust course aims to provide the participants with the principles of chemical biology and how to use computational methods to probe, explore and modulate biological systems using chemical tools. The course will be comprised of a mixture of lectures and hands-on components. The conceptual framework will be covered, as well as direct practical experience of retrieving and analysing chemogenomics data. Participants will be able to do their own target analysis and identify appropriate chemical tools for probing biological systems of interest to them.
Check out more details on the link, above.

New Drug Approvals 2012 - Pt. X - Avanafil (StendraTM)

ATC code:G04BE (partial)Wikipedia: Avanafil

On April 27th, the FDA approved Avanafil (tradename: Stendra; Research Code: TA-1790), a phosphodiesterase 5 (PDE5) inhibitor for the treatment of erectile dysfunction (ED). ED is a sexual dysfunction characterized by the inability to produce an erection of the penis. The physiologic mechanism of penile erection involves the release of nitric oxide in the corpus cavernosum during sexual stimulation, which in turn activates the enzyme guanylate cyclase, resulting in increased levels of cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP). cGMP produces relaxation of smooth muscle tissues, which in the corpus cavernosum results in vasodilation and increased blood flow. Avanafil (PubChem: CID9869929, ChemSpider: 8045620) enhances the relaxant effects of cGMP by selectively inhibiting PDE5 (ChEMBL: CHEMBL1827; Uniprot: O76074), an enzyme responsible for the degradation of cGMP.

Other PDE5 inhibitors are already available on the market and these include Sildenaf…

ChEMBL Webinar on 30th May in Japanese only

For Japanese ChEMBLers,