Internet computing finds more cancer growth inhibitors

Internet computing finds more cancer growth inhibitors

Monday 22 March 2004
Find-a-Drug, Evesham, UK

Find-a-Drug is pleased to announce that its Cancer Internet project has found more molecules which inhibit the growth of cancer cells. By using the spare computer time of thousands of PCs connected to the Internet to form a large supercomputer, Find-a-Drug has been able to evaluate the potential of more than 0.5 billion molecules and produce a set of molecules that are predicted to inhibit the growth of various types of cancer cell. Scientists at the US National Cancer Institute have tested the abilities of a small number of molecules from the set as part of their Developmental Therapeutics Program.

"We now have growth inhibitors for 7 anti-cancer protein targets" commented Keith Davies, Scientific Director of Find-a-Drug. The new potential drug molecules include inhibitors of Fibroblast Growth Factor Receptor and cdc25B both of which are recognised anti-cancer targets.

In the coming months, Find-a-Drug hopes to increase the number of molecules evaluated by computer and have more molecules tested in the laboratory. Alternative protein targets will also be evaluated to increase the number of molecules which are predicted to have anti-cancer properties. It is hoped that choosing from a larger number of molecules will help to avoid drug failures during clinical trials.

The project has so far used around 2,000 years of computer time, and has involved 20,000 PCs from over 60 countries. Each PC is running a copy of the THINK software in the background which does not affect normal use of the PC. All data transferred between the PCs and the Find-a-Drug Internet servers are encrypted. This is a necessary and valuable precaution to prevent the introduction of a harmful agent such as a virus on to the computers. PC owners may participate in the project by downloading the THINK software and molecules from www.find-a-drug.org. Once installed, the software does not require any interaction by the owner.

To participate visit www.find-a-drug.org.

For further information please contact:

Tel: Keith Davies +44 1386 870153 or 07879 495105
E-mail: Keith.Davies@find-a-drug.org

About Find-a-Drug

Find-a-Drug was set up in 2002 by Treweren Consultants (Evesham, UK) as a non-profit project using Internet-based computing for drug discovery. In addition to Cancer, Find-a-Drug is examining some HIV, Multiple Sclerosis, Plague and SARS protein targets. The cancer project continues the work started in collaboration with United Devices (Austin, Texas) and Professors Graham Richards and David Kerr of Oxford University in 2001.