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Cambridge MedChem Consulting

Annual Review of website

The Drug Discovery Resources website continues to increase in popularity with over 137,000 page views, an increase of 27% over the figure for 2016. The pages were visited by over 71,000 viewers and around a quarter of the visitors come back on multiple occasions suggesting they find it useful. The visitors come from 177 different countries with the US (31%) and UK (15%) topping the list.

The most viewed pages in 2017 were

There have been a number of significant updates to the Drug Discovery Resources this year, in particular Target Validation has been expanded and the section on Chemical Probes given a separate page, highlighting invaluable resources like Probe Miner. Another new addition to the site has been the page on Covalent Inhibitors I got a significant amount of feedback on this page and it was updated several times.

I posted a poll on the website asking how many molecules are usually selected from a virtual screening run?


Some people also emailed me with further information. For companies with large internal physical screening collections, and the ability to cherry pick samples, it effectively costs the same to fill a high density plate (>1000 compounds) as it does to select a handful of compounds. On the other hand if the scientist has to purchase compounds then the logistics and cost become a significant obstacle.

There have been a couple of publications this year describing problems arising from analysis of high-throughput screening data, I've updated the Analysis of high-throughput screening data page to try and highlight some of the issues and strategies.

One of the highlights of the year for me was the 19th RSC / SCI Medicinal Chemistry Symposium (#19thCamMedChem) which took place 10th-13th September 2017 at Churchill College, Cambridge, UK. In particular a session on Neglected and Tropical Diseases, to increase the exposure of the brilliant science undertaken in this important therapeutic area the conference organisers arranged for this to be a live webinar. The session was also recorded and is now available online.

This is a recording of the Neglected and Tropical Diseases Session at the 19th Cambridge MedChem Meeting, 11-13 September 2017. The speakers are Kelly Chibale (Univ of Capetown), Christoph Boss (Actelion), Rob Young (GlaxoSmithKline), Jonathan Large (LifeArc) and Charles Mowbray (DNDI). To date this has been watched nearly 250 times.

Please feel free to share. #19thCamMedChem.

The European Lead Factory (ELF) is a collaborative public-private partnership aiming to deliver novel lead molecules for drug discovery programs. When the consortium was formed around 5 years ago there was a lot of scepticism about whether a group of 30 partners rating from large Pharma companies to small academic groups could ever agree on a legal framework that would allow the ELF to function. In a addition, in an industry where confidentiality was critical to maintaining intellectual property the idea that a group of large Pharma companies would share their sample collections often regarded as the "Crown Jewels" seemed impossible. However I was at the European Lead factory Stakeholder Meeting (24-25 April 2017) and it is clear that is has been a success and I've written a summary here.

Interestingly the Books and Grant funding research have seasonal peaks in viewing.

The website was also updated this year to use https rather than http, this involved editing a fair number of of hardcoded URLs. Whilst I don't require any secure transactions it does seem that https offers a level of trust that is beneficial. It seems likely that other web browsers will follow Google's lead and have a popup message when accessing any page using http, I suspect this could rapidly become irritating so I've decided to make the move. You will still able to access using http but I'll be setting up redirects later this week. Hopefully the visitors will not really notice any difference.

Looking at the operating systems 52% are Windows users, 21% Mac users, 10% iOS and 9% Android, Chrome dominates the browser stats (62%) with Safari second (20%) and Firefox third (12%).