Pharmaceutical Bioinformatics is a new subject in the wake of the genomics revolution devoted to the field of drugs. Pharmaceutical Bioinformatics aims to make drug discovery and development more efficient, to improve the efficiency and safety of drugs and drug therapy, to understand the mechanism of actions drugs and how they interact with the organisms. Moreover, Pharmaceutical Bioinformatics is useful as a tool to understand the functions of the organisms, in particular from a chemical point of view.
Pharmaceutical Bioinformatics takes its stance from chemistry and the fact that all life processes are built from chemical structures, which interact and undergo change. By systematically using informatics approaches it is possible to describe all life processes in terms of chemical structure, interaction and change. This includes from simple processes of molecules up to complex biological processes, such as diseases and the effect of drug therapy.
Pharmaceutical Bioinformatics requires methods for storage and retrieval of the large amounts of chemical and biological data generated in drug discovery and the fields of the genomics revolution (i.e. DNA sequencing, transcriptome analysis, proteomics, metabolomics and others). This requires development of data standards, tools for mathematical statistical analysis and software infrastructure.
A cornerstone in our developments is the Bioclipse workbench which is an integration platform for chemobioinformatics. Bioclipse is open source and freely available at http://www.bioclipse.net and has come into wide use with now over 42,000 downloads. More information about the Bioclipse project.
Research in the group includes development of proteochemometrics for the analysis of chemical compounds with wide drug target groups. Recent developments include protechemometric models for analysis and prediction of drug resistance in HIV (see http://www.hivdrc.org), kinome wide models for the interaction of inhibitors with protein kinases and proteome wide models for the interaction of chemical compounds with the proteome.
Statistical method development
Research also includes statistical method development to improve modeling of omics data. Omics technologies lay the data-collecting foundation for answering many complex biological and biomedical questions. The research focuses on developing statistical methods that are applicable in typical situations of modeling high-throughput data, e.g. methods that perform well on datasets with many variables and few observations.
The group performs active collaboration with many reputed academic groups world wide, including groups at the European Bioinformatics Institute, Cambridge University, Edinburgh University, and Karolinska Institute, as well as in developments at the pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca R&D. Moreover, the group is directly involved in developing a new class of drugs discovered by the group, libiguins, for treatment of sexual dysfunction.
A recent summary of the field of Pharmaceutical Bioinformatics was presented in the the textbook "Introduction to Pharmaceutical Bioinformatics" by Jarl E.S. Wikberg et al., published by Oakleaf Academic in 2010.
Principal investigator: Jarl Wikberg