Earlier this week, I was contacted by Daniel Zaharevitz, Chief of the Information Technology Branch of the Developmental Therapeutics Program at the National Cancer Institute. He is also involved with the NIH Roadmap Molecular Libraries Initiative. We had a very interesting talk about Open Science and what kind of further impact it could have in drug development. Lets just say that we are on the same page on this issue and I'm really impressed with what Dan is trying to achieve. The first thing we are going to do is start shipping the compounds we make for an automatic screening of 60 cell lines for tumor inhibitory activity. No, these compounds were not designed for this purpose but the screening service Dan offers is free and we might just learn something. Also, if someone has a model of tumor suppression and would like to make a suggestion (hint, hint), I would be happy to re-prioritize the order in which we make our molecules. The UsefulChem project is designed to be flexible that way. The Ugi reaction we are using is very simple and amenable to combinatorial approaches from commercially available compounds. Many of these compounds have probably been made and tested by pharmaceutical companies but the results are sitting behind a firewall. Dan will also be visiting me in Philly next week. Thanks to Peter Murray-Rust for catalyzing this connection!