Chemical Biology (CB) is defined as exploring biology by the use of small organic molecules and natural compounds. There is an increasing need for new bioactive compounds in many fields of Life Sciences and bioactive chemical compounds constitute the most common form of medical therapies and are also of great relevance within fields like agriculture, nutrition and biotechnology. The EU-Openscreen currently comprising 20 partners from 12 countries, is aiming to integrate high-throughput screening (HTS) pla tforms, chemical libraries, chemical resources for hit discovery and lead optimization in addition to a database containing screening results, assay protocols and chemical information. The broad interdisciplinary CB approach covering all areas of the mole cular life sciences, brings together chemists, engineers, informaticians and biologists, thereby creating numerous opportunities for basic science, innovation and commercialization. The consortium has recently entered a three-year preparatory phase that w ill form the basis for the construction and operation of this pan-European infrastructure of open access CB screening platforms.
This distributed infrastructure will be used by researchers from universities and research institutions who have limited in-h ouse facilities or no access at all to such infrastructure, thereby for the first time offering European researchers from academia access to the most advanced screening technology currently only available in the pharmaceutical industry. UiO and the Norweg ian CB Platform, ChemBioNet Norway, is one of the EU-Openscreen partners. In addition to UiO, the national network consists of partners from the UiB, SINTEF Mat. & Chem. (Trondheim) and Marbio (UiT). The main aim for the Norwegian CB Platform will be to d evelop and enable technologies for CB and marine bioprospecting, HTS as well as target valdation, allowing progress to proof-of-concept in vivo and allow the use of CB HTS to identify tools and new lead compounds.