title: From the ACS Exposition - Aureus Turns Published Biological Screening Data Into Information
The peer-reviewed literature and patents are chock-full of valuable biological screening data. The problem is not finding it; the problem is putting it all together. A company called Aureus Sciences has stepped into this void by offering a product aimed directly at collating and mining published biological screening data.
The product, AurScope (link discontinued), consists of a curated database of biological screening results divided into categories including GPCRs, Kinases, Ion Channels, ADME, and hERG. Searches can be performed by structure or activity at a target. Aureus offers AurSCOPE in a few configurations - the one I saw demoed was a stand-alone client. Apparently, Aureus also offers AurSCOPE as a stripped-down database that can be integrated within a drug discovery organization's existing IT infrastructure, presenting some very interesting possibilities for medicinal chemists looking to exploit competitor data or work around selectivity problems.
One of the more interesting aspects about AurSCOPE is the way it's produced. Like ScienceHack, AurSCOPE is built with people-power. Although the company wouldn't give exact numbers, Aureus' representatives did say that it employed a number of trained scientists to cull the biological screening results making up AurSCOPE from published sources.
Competitive intelligence and target selectivity are omnipresent concerns in drug discovery. Products like AurSCOPE can fill important needs in these areas. Although it wasn't clear how AurSCOPE handles the (not uncommon) situation in which two labs report numbers based on different screening protocols at the same target, the product seems to have a lot going for it. Given the vast wealth of disjointed data contained in the published chemical literature, Aureus' approach of using trained scientists to assemble it into something greater than the sum of its parts is well worth keeping in mind.
image credit: Cranium Oxide