Use Your PC to Combat Cancer

National Foundation for Cancer Research, Intel, United Devices and Oxford

University Team Up to Create Virtual Supercomputer to Combat Cancer



Apr 03, 2001, 01:00 ET from National Foundation for Cancer Research

    SANTA CLARA, Calif., April 3 /PRNewswire/ -- The National Foundation for
 Cancer Research announced today that it has teamed with technology companies
 Intel, United Devices and Oxford University in an effort to turn personal
 computers around the world into a virtual supercomputer that will be used in
 the discovery of new drugs to combat cancer.  Owners of personal computers
 worldwide will be encouraged to join the project by downloading software to
 their machines that enables researchers to utilize unused computer power,
 similar to the SETI@Home project in search of extraterrestrial life.  Intel is
 sponsoring the project and the software; developed by United Devices,
 coordinates the application of screen saver time to run massively distributed
 new drug discovery projects.  The applications then send the compiled research
 data to computer servers across Europe, creating the virtual supercomputer.
 Scientists expect this initiative could speed up new drug discovery by
 3-5 years.
     "This is the largest computational chemistry project ever undertaken,"
 said Graham Richards, chairman of Oxford University's Chemistry Department and
 head of the NFCR Centre for Computational Drug Design in Oxford, England.
 "Our project aims to screen as many as 250 million molecules against a range
 of cancer drug targets and it is expected that approximately 10,000 new drug
 candidate molecules may be identified."
     The NFCR Centre for Computational Drug Design is a virtual arrangement
 including researchers in several European countries but directed from Oxford
 by Professor Graham Richards, Chairman of the University's Chemistry
 Department, which is the largest in the western world.  The Centre is funded
 by a generous grant from the US-based NFCR and relies heavily on input from
 Research Fellow Keith Davies who developed THINK software, which enables
 estimates to be made of how well small drug-like molecules will bind to
 proteins of known structure which are targets for anti-cancer drugs.
     "This effort fundamentally changes the way medical research can be
 performed, and makes PC (personal computer) philanthropy a part of PC
 ownership," said Craig Barrett, president and CEO of Intel Corporation.  "If
 you own a PC, you can now help fight these devastating diseases."
     "With one person dying every hour in America from cancer and millions more
 suffering from this terrible disease, this technology gives individuals who
 want to make a difference in the war against cancer, a chance to use their
 idle computer time to assist in the discovery of new drugs to combat cancer,"
 says Franklin Salisbury, president of the NFCR.
     The program is similar to a screen saver, operating in the background and
 quickly moving aside when the computer's user wants the computer to perform a
 task.  When the computer connects to the Internet, its sends back results and
 receives new data to analyse.  For further information on how to participate
 in this drug discovery program, users will need to log onto
 www.ResearchForACure.com or www.Intel.com/Cure to download the software and
 can find the answers to their questions on these sites.  It is expected that
 at least six million computer users worldwide will participate in this
 cooperative effort in the first year.
 
     The National Foundation for Cancer Research is the only cancer-related
 charity fully dedicated to supporting basic cancer research in the laboratory.
 For more information about the National Foundation for Cancer Research, visit
 www.nfcr.org or call (800) 321-CURE.
 
 

SOURCE National Foundation for Cancer Research
    SANTA CLARA, Calif., April 3 /PRNewswire/ -- The National Foundation for
 Cancer Research announced today that it has teamed with technology companies
 Intel, United Devices and Oxford University in an effort to turn personal
 computers around the world into a virtual supercomputer that will be used in
 the discovery of new drugs to combat cancer.  Owners of personal computers
 worldwide will be encouraged to join the project by downloading software to
 their machines that enables researchers to utilize unused computer power,
 similar to the SETI@Home project in search of extraterrestrial life.  Intel is
 sponsoring the project and the software; developed by United Devices,
 coordinates the application of screen saver time to run massively distributed
 new drug discovery projects.  The applications then send the compiled research
 data to computer servers across Europe, creating the virtual supercomputer.
 Scientists expect this initiative could speed up new drug discovery by
 3-5 years.
     "This is the largest computational chemistry project ever undertaken,"
 said Graham Richards, chairman of Oxford University's Chemistry Department and
 head of the NFCR Centre for Computational Drug Design in Oxford, England.
 "Our project aims to screen as many as 250 million molecules against a range
 of cancer drug targets and it is expected that approximately 10,000 new drug
 candidate molecules may be identified."
     The NFCR Centre for Computational Drug Design is a virtual arrangement
 including researchers in several European countries but directed from Oxford
 by Professor Graham Richards, Chairman of the University's Chemistry
 Department, which is the largest in the western world.  The Centre is funded
 by a generous grant from the US-based NFCR and relies heavily on input from
 Research Fellow Keith Davies who developed THINK software, which enables
 estimates to be made of how well small drug-like molecules will bind to
 proteins of known structure which are targets for anti-cancer drugs.
     "This effort fundamentally changes the way medical research can be
 performed, and makes PC (personal computer) philanthropy a part of PC
 ownership," said Craig Barrett, president and CEO of Intel Corporation.  "If
 you own a PC, you can now help fight these devastating diseases."
     "With one person dying every hour in America from cancer and millions more
 suffering from this terrible disease, this technology gives individuals who
 want to make a difference in the war against cancer, a chance to use their
 idle computer time to assist in the discovery of new drugs to combat cancer,"
 says Franklin Salisbury, president of the NFCR.
     The program is similar to a screen saver, operating in the background and
 quickly moving aside when the computer's user wants the computer to perform a
 task.  When the computer connects to the Internet, its sends back results and
 receives new data to analyse.  For further information on how to participate
 in this drug discovery program, users will need to log onto
 www.ResearchForACure.com or www.Intel.com/Cure to download the software and
 can find the answers to their questions on these sites.  It is expected that
 at least six million computer users worldwide will participate in this
 cooperative effort in the first year.
 
     The National Foundation for Cancer Research is the only cancer-related
 charity fully dedicated to supporting basic cancer research in the laboratory.
 For more information about the National Foundation for Cancer Research, visit
 www.nfcr.org or call (800) 321-CURE.
 
 SOURCE  National Foundation for Cancer Research