CCDC-Astex collaboration extended

Back To Discover

Written by


Posted on

May 11, 2011

Astex Therapeutics, the fragment-based drug discovery company, and the Cambridge Crystallographic Data Centre (CCDC) today announced a continuation of their research collaboration, which extends a highly successful 10-year partnership.

Astex has a wealth of experience in the field of protein-ligand docking and under the terms of the new agreement will continue to contribute to the development of GOLD, CCDC's leading docking software. Astex will continue to exploit the GOLD software as an integral part of its pioneering fragment-based drug discovery platform, Pyramid™, and will also provide input to other CCDC software programs of use in its drug discovery projects, leading to enhanced software capabilities that will be of benefit to all CCDC customers.

Since its inception in 1998, GOLD (Genetic Optimisation for Ligand Docking) has continued to strengthen its position as a leading program used to predict how flexible molecules will bind to flexible proteins. With more than 600 published pharmaceutical research applications and excellent performance in numerous independent validation studies, GOLD is widely recognised as a cutting edge docking package. The existing Astex-CCDC collaboration has been fundamental to this long term success, leading to many scientific advances that have increased the accuracy of docking predictions. Additionally, CCDC and Astex researchers have developed the industry standard test sets that are widely used for assessing docking methodologies.

We are delighted to extend our unique relationship with the CCDC that has provided so much benefit to Astex over the past ten years" said Dr Chris Murray, VP of Discovery Technology at Astex. "The collaboration with CCDC has allowed us to provide scientific input into the docking methodology behind GOLD. It has also given us early access to novel GOLD functionality in our proprietary fragment-based drug discovery platform. The collaboration extension enables us to continue in the development of cutting-edge docking and virtual screening methodology."

Dr Colin Groom, Executive Director of CCDC, commented that, "Our long standing collaboration with Astex has been highly productive, not only because it has resulted in many scientific and technical advances that have been of great benefit to users of GOLD, but also because it has given us a unique understanding of the practical issues faced by our partners in the drug discovery industry. The continuation of our relationship will ensure that CCDC software remains at the forefront of virtual screening and drug discovery technologies."

About Astex

Astex is a UK-based biotechnology company that discovers and develops novel small molecule therapeutics. Using its pioneering fragment-based drug discovery platform, Pyramid™, Astex has built a pipeline of molecularly-targeted oncology drugs, of which three are currently being tested in clinical trials with others in discovery and pre-clinical development.

In addition to its proprietary research programs, Astex's productivity in lead discovery has been endorsed through numerous partnerships with major pharmaceutical companies, including AstraZeneca, GlaxoSmithKline, Johnson & Johnson and Novartis.

On April 6th 2011, Astex announced that it had entered into a definitive merger agreement with SuperGen, Inc., a NASDAQ listed company, to form a financially strong, oncology focused, company, to be called Astex Pharmaceuticals, Inc. For further information on Astex please visit the Company's website at

About CCDC

Originating in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Cambridge, the CCDC is now a fully independent institution constituted as a non-profit company and a registered charity since 1989. The CCDC compile and distribute the Cambridge Structural Database (CSD), the world's repository of experimentally determined organic and metal-organic crystal structures, and related applications software including GOLD and Relibase+. The CCDC has a strong track record in basic research through more than 700 peer-reviewed publications; these papers have attracted more than 18,000 citations in the international scientific literature. More than 1,500 CSD applications papers by non-CCDC authors have been similarly well received.

Contact details:

Astex Therapeutics Ltd.
Jeremy Carmichael, Director of Business Development
Phone: +44 1223 226200

Cambridge Crystallographic Data Centre
Gary Battle, Marketing and Communications Manager
Phone: +44 1233 336408​