Design a Molecule Competition opens

The overall winner will receive an iPad

Cresset, a UK provider of software and services for synthetic and computational chemists, and molecule designers has announced its fourth Design a Molecule Competition.

The competition, open to scientists around the world, challenges entrants to design a molecule that is biologically similar to a reference compound, while being novel, synthetically tractable and drug-like.

Entrants are given free licences to the FieldAlign and FieldView software for the duration of the competition. They will be judged on the combination of a high FieldAlign score with low 2D similarity, and an expert assessment of the synthetic feasibility and drug-likeness of the molecule. The overall winner will receive an iPad.

In common with previous competitions, the reference compound is an anti-malarial target. This time it is a broad spectrum protein target relevant to bacteria, pathogenic fungi and various plasmodium-like human parasites.

Any intellectual property generated from the competition will be donated to a not-for-profit agency working on malaria.

Novartis scientist, Peter Ertl, was last year’s winner.

Cresset’s chief executive Dr Robert Scoffin said: ‘We’re pleased with the response we’ve had to previous competitions and hope that we can contribute to the anti-malarial cause through this exciting target. The designs submitted for previous targets have generally been excellent, despite the tough challenges posed, and we look forward to seeing the results of our latest event.’

The competition runs from 15 March to 20 April, and full details can be found on the company’s website. Winner(s) will be notified within 30 days of the competition closing.

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