Cresset has announced the opening of its fourth Design a Molecule Competition. The competition, open to scientists around the world, challenges entrants to design a molecule that is biologically similar to a reference compound, while being novel, synthetically tractable and drug-like. Entrants are given free licenses to the FieldAlign and FieldView software for the duration of the competition. They are judged based on the combination of a high FieldAlign score with low 2D similarity, and an expert assessment of the synthetic feasibility and drug-likeness of the molecule. The overall winner receives an iPad.
Like the previous competitions, the reference compound is an anti-malarial target, this time a broad spectrum protein target relevant to bacteria, pathogenic fungi and various plasmodium-like human parasites. Any intellectual property generated from the competition will be donated to a not-for-profit agency working on malaria. The last competition was won by Novartis scientist, Peter Ertl, whose design was very elegant and compact, with low conformational flexibility and high field and shape match, relative to the starting inhibitor.
Cresset CEO Dr Robert Scoffin commented, ‘we’re pleased with the response we’ve had to previous competitions and hope that we can contribute to the anti-malarial cause through this exciting target. The designs submitted for previous targets have generally been excellent, despite the tough challenges posed, and we look forward to seeing the results of our latest event.’
The competition runs from March 15th to April 20th 2012, and full details can be found on the company website. Winner(s) will be notified within 30 days of the competition closing.