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Can Chicken Feathers and American Cockroaches be pharmaceutically active?

28 Jul

I’ve been writing a lot about the NPC Browser and NCGC data collection during the past few weeks. Today I was chatting about the software and content with a fellow advocate of online data for chemistry and I was asked for examples of “ridiculous content” that he might be able to refer to. He’d already read some of my earlier posts. It’s worth considering what the NPC Browser is supposed to deliver.

From the website the data collection is defined as:

What is the NCGC Pharmaceutical Collection (NPC)?

The NCGC Pharmaceutical Collection (NPC) is a comprehensive, publically-accessible collection of approved and investigational drugs for high-throughput screening that provides a valuable resource for both validating new models of disease and better understanding the molecular basis of disease pathology and intervention. The NPC has already generated several useful probes for studying a diverse cross section of biology, including novel targets and pathways. NCGC provides access to its set of approved drugs and bioactives through the Therapeutics for Rare and Neglected Diseases (TRND) program and as part of the compound collection for the Tox21 initiative, a collaborative effort for toxicity screening among several government agencies including the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the National Toxicology Program (NTP), the US Food and Drugs Administration (FDA), and the NCGC. Of the nearly 2750 small molecular entities (MEs) that have been approved for clinical use by US (FDA), EU (EMA), Japanese (NHI), and Canadian (HC) authorities and that are amenable to HTS screening, we currently possess 2400 as part of our screening collection.”

Some very interesting items have found there way into the database as mentioned previously. Sean Ekins also pointed out in a comment left out on a blog post that “American Cockroach” was also in the list. Really? Strangely enough….yes. See below.

 

There are many natural products that have become drugs…not so many insects though! Pop two under the tongue….likely to cause indigestion rather than cure it.

Yum...new drugs on the market....

Other things included in the database are listed below…all as part of the NCGC pharmaceutical collection…bear bile??? Agh

 

 

About tony

Antony (Tony) J. Williams received his BSc in 1985 from the University of Liverpool (UK) and PhD in 1988 from the University of London (UK). His PhD research interests were in studying the effects of high pressure on molecular motions within lubricant related systems using Nuclear Magnetic Resonance. He moved to Ottawa, Canada to work for the National Research Council performing fundamental research on the electron paramagnetic resonance of radicals trapped in single crystals. Following his postdoctoral position he became the NMR Facility Manager for Ottawa University. Tony joined the Eastman Kodak Company in Rochester, New York as their NMR Technology Leader. He led the laboratory to develop quality control across multiple spectroscopy labs and helped establish walk-up laboratories providing NMR, LC-MS and other forms of spectroscopy to hundreds of chemists across multiple sites. This included the delivery of spectroscopic data to the desktop, automated processing and his initial interests in computer-assisted structure elucidation (CASE) systems. He also worked with a team to develop the worlds’ first web-based LIMS system, WIMS, capable of allowing chemical structure searching and spectral display. With his developing cheminformatic skills and passion for data management he left corporate America to join a small start-up company working out of Toronto, Canada. He joined ACD/Labs as their NMR Product Manager and various roles, including Chief Science Officer, during his 10 years with the company. His responsibilities included managing over 50 products at one time prior to developing a product management team, managing sales, marketing, technical support and technical services. ACD/Labs was one of Canada’s Fast 50 Tech Companies, and Forbes Fast 500 companies in 2001. His primary passions during his tenure with ACD/Labs was the continued adoption of web-based technologies and developing automated structure verification and elucidation platforms. While at ACD/Labs he suggested the possibility of developing a public resource for chemists attempting to integrate internet available chemical data. He finally pursued this vision with some close friends as a hobby project in the evenings and the result was the ChemSpider database (www.chemspider.com). Even while running out of a basement on hand built servers the website developed a large community following that eventually culminated in the acquisition of the website by the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) based in Cambridge, United Kingdom. Tony joined the organization, together with some of the other ChemSpider team, and became their Vice President of Strategic Development. At RSC he continued to develop cheminformatics tools, specifically ChemSpider, and was the technical lead for the chemistry aspects of the Open PHACTS project (http://www.openphacts.org), a project focused on the delivery of open data, open source and open systems to support the pharmaceutical sciences. He was also the technical lead for the UK National Chemical Database Service (http://cds.rsc.org/) and the RSC lead for the PharmaSea project (http://www.pharma-sea.eu/) attempting to identify novel natural products from the ocean. He left RSC in 2015 to become a Computational Chemist in the National Center of Computational Toxicology at the Environmental Protection Agency where he is bringing his skills to bear working with a team on the delivery of a new software architecture for the management and delivery of data, algorithms and visualization tools. The “Chemistry Dashboard” was released on April 1st, no fooling, at https://comptox.epa.gov, and provides access to over 700,000 chemicals, experimental and predicted properties and a developing link network to support the environmental sciences. Tony remains passionate about computer-assisted structure elucidation and verification approaches and continues to publish in this area. He is also passionate about teaching scientists to benefit from the developing array of social networking tools for scientists and is known as the ChemConnector on the networks. Over the years he has had adjunct roles at a number of institutions and presently enjoys working with scientists at both UNC Chapel Hill and NC State University. He is widely published with over 200 papers and book chapters and was the recipient of the Jim Gray Award for eScience in 2012. In 2016 he was awarded the North Carolina ACS Distinguished Speaker Award.
 

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