Structural genomics

Open collaboration is key to new drugs

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As chair of the board of the Structural Genomics Consortium (SGC), I would like to acknowledge the commitment of the hundreds of scientists from industry and academia who collaborate with the SGC to make freely available synthetic probes that are potentially important to public health. You feature one such molecule, JQ1, now being investigated for blocking unwanted gene expression, in your discussion of epigenetics targets in cancer (Nature 488, 148–150; 2012).

JQ1 resulted from collaboration between SGC researchers and Jay Bradner's group at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Massachusetts, building on the work of scientists at Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma in Japan and with guidance from scientists at GlaxoSmithKline in the United Kingdom. As you point out, the huge impact of the study is due in large part to the collaborators' willingness to distribute JQ1 without restriction.

Other such examples resulting from open collaborations between industry and academia include inhibitors of the molecules JMJD3 (L. Kruidenier et al. Nature 488, 404–408; 2012), BRD4 (P. Filippakopoulos et al. Nature 468, 1067–1073; 2010) and G9-α-methyltransferase (M. Vedadi et al. Nature Chem. Biol. 7, 566–574; 2011).

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Correspondence to Markus Gruetter.

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Gruetter, M. Open collaboration is key to new drugs. Nature 491, 40 (2012) doi:10.1038/491040d

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