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Technology Development

Technology Development in the Pilot Phase

As was the case with the Human Genome Project at its inception, the ultimate goal of the Molecular Libraries Roadmap Initiative – a comprehensive set of small molecule modulators of a majority of the genes and functions of humans and other organisms – is unachievable with current technologies. As a result, the Molecular Libraries Roadmap Initiative focuses on technology development in the following five areas:

  • Assay Development supports the development of a continuously evolving stream of outstanding assays that can be miniaturized, automated and further used within the Molecular Libraries Screening Centers Network (MLSCN) for screening, disseminating information about small molecule-target interactions, and discovering novel molecular probes. Another aim of this effort is to enable the design of pharmacologic tools to explore cellular and physiological functions.
  • Chemical Diversity supports the development of new and diverse chemical libraries for screening in the MLSCN centers, as well as new methods for producing, isolating, characterizing, and modifying natural products.
  • Cheminformatics supports the development of novel cheminformatics tools, improved methods of investigation and approaches to cheminformatics research and creative ways of translating learned experience to the larger biomedical research community
  • Instrumentation supports the development of new instrumentation and devices for high-throughput screening. Topics currently supported include miniaturization and novel methods of detection of chemical/target interactions.
  • Predictive ADME/Toxicology supports the development of data sets and analysis methods to allow better prediction of ADME (absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion) and toxic properties of novel molecules. The goal is to help obviate the trial-and-error testing that accounts for a large proportion of the time, expense, and failure in the use of small molecules as in vivo research tools and drugs.
  • For the benefit of the biomedical research community, the Technology Development and related Cheminformatics initiative were strategically designed to provide a set of novel technologies and innovative resources for elucidating the structure and behavior of small molecule modulators, develop new and diverse chemical libraries for screening by the MLSCN Centers, stimulate the development of assays that could be automated and used within the MLSCN, discover creative and successful methods as well as instruments for use in high-throughput screening, and to support the development of further means of predicting Absorption, Distribution, Metabolization, Excretion (ADME) and toxic properties of novel molecules.

    Further Information

    See links in left menu for

    Information on specific technology development initiatives

    Governance of the technology development initiatives

    NIH points of contact for the technology development initiatives