BETHESDA, Md., Sept. 19 /PRNewswire/ -- The National Foundation for Cancer Research (NFCR), a Bethesda-based leading cancer research charity in the US, and InhibOx, a computational drug discovery company located in Oxford, UK, announced today that they have joined forces to launch a powerful new computational drug screening tool, DrugFinder. This new tool enables scientists to leverage the power of computer-aided virtual drug screening technology for novel cancer drug discovery and development and will accelerate the speed of drug discovery. (Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20070925/CLTU127LOGO ) Using a web-based interface ( http://www.inhibox.com/DrugFinder ), researchers from around the world will now be able to submit a target (such as a cancer related protein) structure together with a known inhibitor compound through the Internet to the DrugFinder service. InhibOx will use its in-house computing facilities and expertise to screen chemical compound database against the target. The docking and ligand-based approaches will be used in combination during the screening process and the "hit" compounds identified will be returned to the user. It is estimated that this could speed up the drug discovery process by as much as 4 years. Part of the service is offered to the public free of charge, providing additional resources to the public efforts in new drug discovery. "Our DrugFinder service offers the scientists around world a unique and powerful virtual screening tool for the development of novel drugs at very early stage along the development pipe line, which will significantly reduces the time and costs for new drug discovery and development," said Dr. Michael Wang, Chief Science Officer of NFCR. "Patients will benefit from the success of this new initiative," Dr. Wang continued. DrugFinder service is built upon the successful Peer-to-Peer Networking, Screensaver-Lifesaver project, which was initiated by NFCR at the NFCR Center for Computational Drug Discovery in the Chemistry Department of the University of Oxford in collaboration with United Devices Inc. in 2001. Ended in 2007, the Screensaver-Lifesaver Project received tremendous public support from over 3.5 million personal computers in more than 200 countries and obtained sponsorship at various times from many corporations including Intel, Microsoft and IBM. In the 7 years of operation time, the project achieved incredible success and produced very important and promising results. About InhibOx InhibOx was founded in 2001 by Professor W. Graham Richards, Chairman of Chemistry at the University of Oxford and a world leading computational chemist. The company was a spin-off from the outstandingly successful Screensaver-Lifesaver project initiated and funded by NFCR. Subsequently, InhibOx has built up a significant technology platform, including Scopius, a regularly updated database of millions of commercially available chemical compounds. InhibOx is committed to discovering and developing entirely novel, accurate and effective computational methods for drug discovery to improve the productivity of lead and drug candidate identification. For more information, please go to http://www.inhibox.com . About NFCR Since its founding, the NFCR has spent more than $250 million funding cancer research and prevention education focused on understanding how and why cells become cancerous. NFCR is dedicated to funding scientists who are discovering cancer's molecular mysteries and translating these discoveries into therapies that hold the hope for curing cancer. For more information, visit http://www.NFCR.org or call (800) 321-CURE.
SOURCE The National Foundation for Cancer Research