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Genomics Consortium Adds Two Members, Gains $49 Million

Test tubes (Håkan Dahlström/Flickr)The Structural Genomics Consortium (SGC) says it added two new pharmaceutical companies as members and $48.9 million in new funding. The partnership of drug companies and science funding agencies conducts basic drug discovery research, with its findings released to the public domain.

SGC added Eli Lilly Canada and Pfizer Inc. to its membership that also includes GlaxoSmithKline, the Novartis Research Foundation, the Wellcome Trust, Canadian Institutes for Health Research, and the Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation. The consortium operates from laboratories at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom and the University of Toronto in Ontario, Canada.

The member companies have committed to $48.9 million in funding to support the consortium. SGC’s four pharmaceutical company members will provide as well more than $9 million of in-kind contributions, primarily medicinal chemistry resources.

The consortium’s goal is to determine 3D structures targeting human proteins of biomedical importance and proteins from human parasites that represent potential drug targets. SGC says its work so far has contributed more than 1,300 three-dimensional protein structures to the public domain, which represents up to half of the structures donated annually to the Protein Data Bank.

SGC plans to expand its work into epigenetics, heritable changes in gene functions that occur without changes in the underlying DNA sequence. Alterations in these processes are linked to many common diseases. The consortium’s antibody and chemical tools projects are expected to focus on proteins implicated in epigenetic mechanisms of disease.

Read more: Europe R&D Network Approves 2011 Funding Targets

Photo: Håkan Dahlström/Flickr

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