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FMP and EU-OPENSCREEN practice large-scale collaborations with the KIT

The FMP Chemical Biology Platform, which will apply to become a screening and chemistry partner site of EU-OPENSCREEN next year, just received a generous donation of 1,000 chemical compounds from the Compound Platform at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT). The KIT-Compound Platform has been established recently as a DFG-funded core facility and is currently managed by Nicole Jung, Anke Deckers, and Stefan Bräse.

“Both the KIT and the FMP will benefit tremendously from this collaboration”, says Marc Nazaré, head of Medicinal Chemistry at the FMP. The donated compounds from academic researchers provide chemists with access to biological testing data but also give biologists the opportunity to enter into interdisciplinary collaborations with chemists which have expertise in a particular field of chemistry. This will have a seed function for new chemical biology projects and networks.

“Moreover, the 1,000 compounds will be used routinely in future screens performed at the FMP”, adds Jens Peter von Kries, head of the FMP Screening Unit. The compounds will be profiled thoroughly, and obtained data on, for example, cytotoxicity and spectral properties will be made available to the KIT instantaneously. Subsequently, if one of the donated compounds generates a hit in a screen performed at the FMP, KIT Compound Platform scientists can choose to obtain further support in the areas of Medicinal Chemistry (Marc Nazaré) and Drug Design (Ronald Kühne)—thus fostering further collaborations between the Helmholtz and Leibniz associations.

For the FMP, the donation represents an invaluable addition to the academic sub-library of its compound collection, which has been vividly expanding over the past years in the frame of the German ChemBioNet through generous additions from scientists at various institutions. Besides diversifying the chemical composition of the FMP library through exciting new scaffolds, the KIT donation also allows EU-OPENSCREEN to practice the work-flow and handling of donated academic compounds, which will be an integral part of the Research Infrastructure.

“We hope that this collaboration is the beginning of a strong, long-lasting network of scientists at FMP and KIT as well as other institutions in a future context of EU-OPENSCREEN”, says Phil Gribbon, current coordinator of EU-OPENSCREEN, summarizing the interview.

The KIT is currently in the process of joining the ChemBioNet resource network and expressed interest in building strong collaborations with the German and wider EU-OPENSCREEN network.