Neurogen Corp. said Thursday it plans to implement a next-generation high-throughput system that will allow it to screensignificantly more compounds.
The system is being developed to enhance the company'sAccelerated Intelligent Drug Design (AIDD) program. The newsystem is being developed with Science Applications InternationalCorp. (SAIC), of San Diego, which gained its expertise by providingsystems for defense purposes.
"When fully operational in January the SAIC robotics will allow us toexplore an ever-broadening set of drug targets with a speed andagility unsurpassed in the pharmaceutical industry," said JohnTallman, Neurogen's executive vice president and scientific director."This new SAIC system enables us to quickly implement in ourAIDD program, a robotics-based screening capability on par withthat used in our combinatorial chemistry effort."
With the new system Neurogen, of Branford, Conn., will be able toscreen 100,000 compounds a week, said company spokeswomanAmy Enders. Now the company's AIDD program is generating about1 million compounds per year.
With its AIDD technology Neurogen discovered its lead obesity drugcandidate, the neuropeptide Y antagonist NGD 95-1, which is beingdeveloped in collaboration with New York-based Pfizer Inc. It alsohas discovered preclinical leads in programs on corticotropinreleasing factor, galanin, NPY2 and GABA (gamma aminobutyricacid).
Neurogen also is collaborating with Pfizer on programs in anxietyand sleep disorders and with Schering-Plough Corp., of Madison,N.J., on developing drugs targeting specific dopamine receptorsubtypes, with an initial target of schizophrenia. _ Jim Shrine
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