Cambridge crystal database archives 500,000th structure
19 January 2010
The Cambridge Crystallographic Data Centre (CCDC) archived the
500,000th small molecule crystal structure to the Cambridge Structural
Database (CSD) in December. The structure is the drug Lamotrigine.
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
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 said, "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) 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.