Epigenetic databases are one of of our favorite futuristic tools and now a time traveling crew from Reaction Biology Corporation (RBC) land a grant from the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) to create an impressive database of epigenetic drug interactions. The team at RBC is undertaking a colossal effort examining a library of 1,400 compounds, including almost every FDA approved drug. They plan to assay them against over thirty epigenetic enzymes, leading to a total of over 42,000 individual experiments! The RBC team plans to use this epigenetic drug database to generate a roadmap for the creation of new drugs and give a helping hand in taking on various epigenetic diseases and disorders. Interestingly, not only will RBC create new drugs but they also plan to use their data from the side effects of known FDA drugs to re-purpose existing drugs for new treatments.
Dr. Haiching Ma, Chief Science Officer of RBC and principal investigator of the epigenetic drug database, shares that “This project will represent the first systematic look at how current pharmaceuticals affect epigenetic function. The potential exists for some exciting developments as a result. We’re very pleased that NCATS saw the same potential in this project as we did.”
The RBC team shares that “Testing these compounds against all of the histone methyltransferases (HMTs) that we offer for screening is just the tip of the iceberg. Eventually we will extend these efforts to other epigenetic classes, including demethylases, reader proteins, HDACs, etc. The ultimate goal is to create a database that demonstrates all possible interactive maps between commonly used chemicals and new epigenetic factors. This will be the first database available to indicate the unknown epigenetic effects of FDA-approved drugs or agents in clinical trials. Obtaining a list of known HMT inhibiting structures would significantly accelerate epigenetic drug discovery, ultimately providing greater insights to the activity, potential benefits and safety of drugs on the market. In addition, we anticipate this database will help accelerate the development of new drugs currently being investigated, and may be useful in drug rescue and repurposing efforts.”
They also share that once complete “The database will be publicly available to anyone online, similar to the kinase profiling database we created in collaboration with the Fox Chase Cancer Center of Philadelphia.”
Based in Malvern, PA, RBC specializes in providing high quality biochemical enzyme assay data, using ultra-low volumes and proprietary methods. RBC provides services to over 550 customers worldwide, including large pharmaceutical, biotech, government, and academic labs. RBC’s HotSpotSM platform is a widely used service for providing high quality kinase and epigenetic screening data worldwide. The company also manufactures and sells recombinant human epigenetic proteins for research services.