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Broad Institute Connectivity Map: New Web tool may speed drug discovery

Helps match diseases, treatments

By Gareth Cook, Globe Staff | September 29, 2006

Local scientists have created what they hope will become the Google of drug discovery: a free, Web-based search engine that quickly finds potential new compounds to treat particular diseases.

As the website went live yesterday, the team released three papers in top scientific journals, demonstrating the technique's promise. In initial testing, the search engine identified a potential leukemia drug. A clinical trial for that drug, which is already approved for another use, is likely to begin in the next few months -- a testament to the speed of the new approach.

The new tool, dubbed the "connectivity map," ( www.broad.mit.edu/cmap/) works by quickly matching drugs and diseases that have opposite effects on some of the genes inside a human cell -- the set of instructions that, when turned on, tell the cell what to do. A match would indicate that giving the drug might reverse the effects of the disease, turning off genes the disease turns on, and vice versa.

KDnuggets : News : 2006 : n20 : item18 < PREVIOUS | NEXT >

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