Design a molecule, win an iPad

CAN YOU design a molecule biologically similar to, but not the same as, a specified reference compound? The task isn’t quite as easy as simply swapping an atom or two, as the newly-designed molecule must be synthetically tractable and drug-like, while still being original.

Cresset has announced its fourth Design a Molecule Competition, which will accept entries up until 20 April 2012. Open to scientists from anywhere in the world, who are given free access to the company’s FieldAlign and FieldView software for the duration of the competition, the competition will be judged on a combination of high FieldAlign score, low 2D similarity, and assessment of the molecule’s feasibility – ie, whether it can be made. A brand new Apple iPad awaits the winner.

The compound to be mimicked is a protein target of interest as an anti-malarial agent, relevant to bacteria, pathogenic fungi, and a number of plasmodium-like human parasites. Malaria remains one of the most devastating diseases facing humankind, and any intellectual property created by the competition will be donated to an appropriate non-profit agency.

Cresset’s previous molecule design competition was won by Peter Ertl, a scientist at Novartis.

The competition runs from 15 March to 20 April 2012; further details on the company’s website.


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