Cambridge Scientists Archive 500,000th Crystal Structure

Friday, December 11, 2009 General News
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CAMBRIDGE, England, December 10 The CambridgeCrystallographic Data Centre (CCDC) is proud to announce an importantmilestone in the history of crystallography - the archiving of the 500,000thsmall molecule crystal structure to the Cambridge Structural Database (CSD).This unique, scientifically rigorous database, built over 45 years, is theinternational de facto standard for small-molecule chemical structures andhas become an essential resource to scientists around the world.

Professor Sir David King, former Chief Scientific Adviser to the UKGovernment, and Chairman of the CCDC Board of Governors 1998-2000, notes that"The timely development of CCDC and the Cambridge Structural Database fromvery humble beginnings 45 years ago to become the key global source forcrystal structures makes a remarkable story. The user-friendliness andversatility of the database has become the major resource for the chemicaland pharmaceutical industries, and in the process has transformed theircapability."

The CSD System incorporates a suite of flexible search and analysis toolsallowing chemical knowledge to be extracted from the raw crystallographicdata. Information derived from small-molecule crystal structures is vital tostructural chemistry research in its broadest sense, and in particular topharmaceutical drug discovery, materials design, drug development andformulation. The database is also a rich resource for teachers and hasapplication across the entire span of the chemistry curriculum. There areclear indications that this knowledge will be equally vital in thedevelopment of future materials, such as gas-storage systems, and will play akey role in the development of nano- and green-technologies.

Dr Colin Groom, Executive Director of the CCDC says that "thedetermination of 500,000 crystal structures is a remarkable achievement.However, the scientific community is hungry for the next 500,000 and theknowledge these will undoubtedly bring. As the CSD grows both in size and inthe complexity of structures it contains, the database not only helps us toanswer our questions about molecular structure and interactions, but tells uswhat 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 USFDA for the treatment of epilepsy in 1994 and additionally for the treatmentof bipolar I disorder in 2003. The structure can be viewed at

Crystal structure of Lamotrigine

About The Cambridge Crystallographic Data Centre

Originating in the Department of Chemistry at the University ofCambridge, and with UK Government funding, the CCDC is now a fullyindependent institution constituted as a non-profit company and a registeredcharity since 1989. The CCDC is financially independent, through annualsubscriptions received for CSD System access from academia and industry. TheCCDC has a strong track record in basic research through more than 700peer-reviewed publications, and these papers have attracted more than 18,000citations in the international scientific literature. More than 1,500 CSDapplications papers by non-CCDC authors have been similarly well received.


SOURCE The Cambridge Crystallographic Data Centre

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