Partnership of top European laboratories aims to deliver new cures

November 20, 2002

Brussels, 19 Nov 2002

Four of Europe's most prestigious laboratories signed the Partnership for Structural Biology (PSB) in Grenoble, France, on 15 November, creating an integrated programme and resource pool in the field of structural genomics.

The partners, all of whom share a common site in Grenoble, are the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF), the Institute Laue-Langevin (ILL), the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), and the Institut de Biologie Structurale (IBS). The four organisations aim to pool their expertise in molecular biology and undertake key research into human health.

Advances in recent years have produced an enormous amount of information about the sequence of the human genome. Information on the structure, function and interaction of the tens of thousands of proteins encoded by the genome is limited, however, and more knowledge is vital in order to speed up the discoveries of new antibiotics and cancer drugs.

The combination of resources created by the partnership is unique in the world, especially in the areas of x-ray crystallography at third-generation synchrotron sources, nuclear magnetic resonance techniques and neutron scattering.

The PSB is also keen to include further industrial and academic partners in the initiative, and a number of established pharmaceutical companies and biotechnology start-ups have already expressed an interest in becoming associate members. The founding members of the PSB feel that a close interaction between academic and commercial concerns is essential for the rapid discovery and development of new medicines.

For further information, please consult the following web address:

CORDIS RTD-NEWS/© European Communities, 2001

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