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NIH awards $11.9 M to The Burnham Institute to establish the San Diego Chemical Screening Center

June 16, 2005 (San Diego, CA) The Burnham Institute has been selected by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) as one of nine national centers for high-throughput chemical compound screening, known collectively as "The Molecular Libraries Screening Centers Network", that will comprise the world's largest collaborative network focused on drug discovery. Dr. John C. Reed, President and CEO of The Burnham Institute, will direct "The San Diego Chemical Library Screening Center" to be established with $11.9 M awarded over three years by the NIH.

As a member of this national screening network, the Burnham will have access to a library of 2 million compounds, which will be individually tested for medicinal properties using advanced robotic screening instrumentation. The screening center at the Burnham will perform screens of the 2 million compounds against at least 20 disease-targets per year, revealing specific compounds that interact with and inhibit disease-causing proteins.

"The selection of Burnham and our partner organizations to serve as one of the nine national centers for this exciting initiative validates our decision over five years go to build an innovative drug discovery infrastructure that empowers our scientists to go beyond basic discovery research and invent the new medicines of the future", said Dr. Reed. "It is also a vote of confidence in the quality of our scientific team. Already, Burnham scientists have contributed in whole or in part to several medications now in use for preventing or treating stroke, heart attack, cancer, nerve degeneration, and Alzheimer's disease. Armed with the new capabilities provided through the NIH grant, we will be poised to accelerate our efforts 100-fold."

The Molecular Screening Centers Network is being developed as part of the NIH Roadmap Initiative for expediting medical discovery, implemented by NIH Director Elias A. Zerhouni, M.D. "This tremendous collaborative effort will acceler
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Contact: Nancy Beddingfield
nbeddingfield@burnham.org
858-646-3146
Burnham Institute
17-Jun-2005


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