IT Weapon to Design Drugs for Fighting Disease

Wednesday, 06 December, 2000

Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) and the Cooperative Research Centre for Cellular Growth Factors (CRCCGF) have announced a specifically built power-computer for the design of new drugs.

The computer replaces labour-intensive lab testing, and designs and evaluates possible new drugs for fighting disease.

The computer, named Caduceus, is part of the dedicated centre for computer-aided drug discovery at CSIRO in Melbourne.

The computer offers researchers the benefit of advances in structural biology and computer science to design drugs using computer aided or 'in silico' methods.

Caduceus will be used to screen millions of chemical compounds from a variety of sources in order to identify candidate drugs.

The screening process involves matching the shape and chemical characteristics of the chemicals, with the known structures of target sites on proteins involved in disease processes. By interacting with these sites, the drugs can inactivate the proteins and interrupt the progress of a disease. Initially the cluster will be used to identify potential drugs for the treatment of certain cancers and inflammatory diseases.

For further information please contact Dr Peter Colman, Biomolecular Research Institute on 03 9662 7212 or via email, or Dr Jose Varghese, CSIRO Health Sciences and Nutrition on 03 9662 7277 or via email

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