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Thermo Fisher Scientific Enables Ireland’s First Fragment-Based Screening Programme

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Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc., has announced that the University of Dublin has purchased the Maybridge Ro3 Diversity Fragment library for use in a new drug discovery program.

As an institution known for its world-class biomedical research, the University is the first organization in the Republic of Ireland to undertake a fragment-based screening programme.

With possible applications in the fight against viral replication, bacterial infections and Alzheimer’s disease, this research has the potential to provide significant therapeutic advances.

Dr. Neil Ferguson’s team - the UCD Biomolecular Interactions Group - combines biophysical and structural biology methodologies to unravel the molecular structures and forces that cause human diseases.

By incorporating the Maybridge Ro3 library into his existing multi-disciplinary approach, Dr. Ferguson adds a new dimension to his team’s research and their ability to identify potential drug compounds.

The Ro3 library will enable the team to pursue challenging targets (such as those incompatible with conventional HTS programmes), neglected diseases and, in many cases, new targets emerging from his basic research programmes.

“Combining the power of fragment-based drug discovery with our high-end instrumentation, we can effectively tackle our ever-expanding portfolio of therapeutic targets,” said Dr. Ferguson.

Ferguson continued, “Our aim is to identify novel leads that can develop into next-generation therapeutics. I gave long and serious consideration to the fragment library that we would use for this new initiative. Among the key criteria were the chemical diversity, validated solubility profiles and a proven track record in hit identification. The ready availability of its components in bulk format and their superior stability also makes the Maybridge Ro3 library an excellent choice for further development of the downstream medicinal chemistry.”

Dr. Ferguson concluded, “We feel that our current skill set, therapeutic targets, biophysical infrastructure and the Maybridge Ro3 library all place us well to make a serious fragment-based drug discovery effort within the academic sphere - watch this space!”

The Maybridge Ro3 Diversity Fragment library is a resource of more than 1500, hand-selected, compound fragments and small molecule pharmacophores. Selection criteria include the compliance with the “Rule of Three” (Ro3) for lead generation and for the superior solubility profile of the compound.

This highly diverse fragment library is available as three 500-compound sets; each compound in the library is pre-solubilised as a 1 mL, 10 mM solution, providing 10 µMol of 95 percent purity material dissolved in analytical grade DMSO.