Five European research institutes collaborated with the company SPECS, a supplier of research compounds to the life sciences industry, to generate a collection of more than 5.000 drugs. Head of the NKI Robotics and Screening Center Roderick Beijersbergen was closely involved in the generation of this library, which will now be available for researchers within and outside Oncode Institute and the NKI.
"One of the reasons why I think this library is of immense added value, is that it could support our goal of making healthcare and drug development more affordable", says NKI group leader René Bernards, who is also closely involved in the drug repurposing research. "For instance, if researchers find a new application for a drug that is already licensed for patient use, it would mean that we could clinically develop it further at a much faster pace and with less costs involved. In addition, most of the compounds in this library were only tested in a very limited setting, meaning not all possible applications were investigated."
Bernards: "As cancer researchers, we are interested in very specific processes. We want to know whether a process is activated or deactivated by a certain compound. For example, we are interested in targeting senescent cells and it can take up to 7 days before you see any results. It is therefore very likely that we pick up on active compounds which were initially missed by the pharmaceutical industry, as their assays are typically only 3-day assays."
"The compound library is of great value to researchers", says Bernards. "It really gives them the opportunity to do targeted research and find things that others missed before. We focus on many different types of research and cancers and the library caters for this."
Researchers can get access to the library by contacting Jacqueline Staring, program manager at Oncode Institute (firstname.lastname@example.org), or Roderick Beijersbergen (email@example.com).
Oncode Institute financially supported the generation of the drug collection. Within the Oncode Drug Repurposing programme researchers can get access to the library. There are currently two centers of expertise within Oncode: the Netherlands Cancer Institute and Leiden University Medical Center, with experts who can support researchers to optimize their assays, execute the compound screens, analyze the data and assist in validation and follow-up.
Photo credit: Len Rubenstein Broadchembio62308