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Posted: December 10, 2009

Cambridge scientists archive 500,000th crystal structure

(Nanowerk News) The Cambridge Crystallographic Data Centre (CCDC) is proud to announce an important milestone in the history of crystallography - the archiving of the 500,000th small molecule crystal structure to the Cambridge Structural Database (CSD). This unique, scientifically rigorous database, built over 45 years, is the international de facto standard for small-molecule chemical structures and has become an essential resource to scientists around the world.
Professor Sir David King, former Chief Scientific Adviser to the UK Government, and Chairman of the CCDC Board of Governors 1998-2000, notes that "The timely development of CCDC and the Cambridge Structural Database from very humble beginnings 45 years ago to become the key global source for crystal structures makes a remarkable story. The user-friendliness and versatility of the database has become the major resource for the chemical and pharmaceutical industries, and in the process has transformed their capability."
The CSD System incorporates a suite of flexible search and analysis tools allowing chemical knowledge to be extracted from the raw crystallographic data. Information derived from small-molecule crystal structures is vital to structural chemistry research in its broadest sense, and in particular to pharmaceutical drug discovery, materials design, drug development and formulation. The database is also a rich resource for teachers and has application across the entire span of the chemistry curriculum. There are clear indications that this knowledge will be equally vital in the development of future materials, such as gas-storage systems, and will play a key role in the development of nano- and green-technologies.
Dr Colin Groom, Executive Director of the CCDC says that "the determination of 500,000 crystal structures is a remarkable achievement. However, the scientific community is hungry for the next 500,000 and the knowledge these will undoubtedly bring. As the CSD grows both in size and in the complexity of structures it contains, the database not only helps us to answer our questions about molecular structure and interactions, but tells us what those questions should be."
The CSD's 500,000th structure is the anti-convulsant drug Lamotrigine (Lamictal(R)) which was discovered by GlaxoSmithKline and approved by the US FDA for the treatment of epilepsy in 1994 and additionally for the treatment of bipolar I disorder in 2003. The structure can be viewed at http://www.ccdc.cam.ac.uk/halfmillionthstructure
About The Cambridge Crystallographic Data Centre
Originating in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Cambridge, and with UK Government funding, the CCDC is now a fully independent institution constituted as a non-profit company and a registered charity since 1989. The CCDC is financially independent, through annual subscriptions received for CSD System access from academia and industry. The CCDC has a strong track record in basic research through more than 700 peer-reviewed publications, and these papers have attracted more than 18,000 citations in the international scientific literature. More than 1,500 CSD applications papers by non-CCDC authors have been similarly well received.
Source: The Cambridge Crystallographic Data Centre
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