Our industrial-scale drug discovery capabilities enable scientists at Sanford-Burnham and elsewhere to directly translate their scientific breakthroughs into the medicines of tomorrow.
Chemical Genomics at Sanford-Burnham:
Reinventing how new drugs are discovered
of the Prebys Center
Where do new medicines come from? In the past, large pharmaceutical companies were solely responsible for most drug discovery. Due to high costs and pressures to “fill the pipeline” faster, pharmaceutical companies frequently move away from drug discovery efforts that are deemed risky, especially for “orphan” diseases that are unprofitable for investors. In 2005, the National Institutes of Health announced a 9-year initiative to bridge the gap between basic research carried out in academic research laboratories and FDA approval of new medicines.
The first step in the drug discovery process involves screening small molecules (chemicals) to determine their potential to produce innovative tools for use in biological research. The Conrad Prebys Center for Chemical Genomics screens chemical compounds by the millions to find the few that could potentially be developed into new medicines. All of the results from the Prebys Center's activities are placed into a public database called PubChem, made available to all researchers, in both the public and private sector, for their use in studying biology and disease.