Ghent, Antwerp, Belgium – 23rd September 2010: Ghent University, the University of Antwerp and BioTools Europe Ltd are delighted to announce a new partnership to create the European Centre for Chirality (EC2, chirality.ua.ac.be). EC2 is a unique blend of expertise and resources that brings together leading authorities dedicated to advancing the understanding the role chirality plays in biological processes. The EC2 mission is to help academic and industrial scientists develop a broad range of chirality related applications through offering services ranging from the determination of absolute chiral configurations, Vibrational Optical Activity (VOA) measurements, computational modelling including expert consultancy, and education workshops to open access VOA instrumentation. Given the importance of chirality in e.g., drug discovery and development, the information obtained using these techniques can benefit productivity in drug discovery, diagnostics research, drug development and registration. The new Centre, based at Antwerp and Ghent, Belgium, will comprise a team of dedicated scientists, including some of the world’s most respected leaders in VOA, using an array of advanced analytical instrumentation and modelling software able to fulfil the demanding analysis such challenging applications require.
Dr Edwin Kellenbach, Departmental Head Analytical Sciences at Merck explained, “analysis of the chiral formations of both small molecules and biological molecules (simply put, the right and left handed versions of molecules) are now an essential part of the discovery and development of new medicines, for example the understanding of chirality has played a key role in the success of 7 out of 10 of the latest blockbusters drugs including Lipitor, Nexium and Plavix. The challenge faced by many of us working in the pharmaceutical sector and underpinned by pressure from market regulators is to obtain high quality data about chirality sufficiently early in the discovery of new molecules to be able to make decisions that will determine the success or failure of the molecules in achieving clinical efficacy and safety. EC2 will help scientists meet these challenges.”
Managing Director of BioTools Europe Frank Trundle, said, “one challenge we recognised is the initial capital cost of investing in analytical instrumentation which can be limiting and may take long periods of time to approve through academic and corporate budget cycles. To further support the research needs of scientists we will also offer open access services through EC2 and provide fast affordable access to critical analysis, modelling, and expertise of the highest standards”. Dr. Sergey Sergeyev (Chief Operations Officer at EC2) added: ”The creation of EC2 will enable many scientists to gain easy access to a wide body of knowledge, know-how, and advanced VOA instrumentation to provide fast and reliable chirality-based analyses. This, combined with our consultancy, and training programmes, will help to provide deeper insights into molecular structure and function than ever before”. We are proud to be sponsored by Gaussian Inc for supporting this centre with advanced quantum chemistry modelling software.
The Centre will open on December 2nd 2010, and to mark this occasion EC2 will hold a day-long scientific programme and show-case BioTools advanced instrumentation. Attending the launch will be EC2 experts, including Prof. Patrick Bultinck (Ghent University), Prof. Wouter Herrebout (University of Antwerp), Prof. Laurence A.Nafie (Syracuse University, New York) and Dr. Rina K.Dukor (President of BioTools Inc).
Key VOA instruments will be available for demonstration, including Vibrational Circular Dichroism (VCD, accepted by regulators as being able to provide absolute configurations) and Raman Optical Activity (ROA).
For further information, please contact either
Frank Trundle, Managing Director (BioTools Europe Ltd)
T: +44- (0)1483688300
Dr Sergey Sergeyev (University of Antwerp)