The best way to make a drug is to start with a drug.
This is the mantra that an experienced medicinal chemist at the NCGC often preached to us. Indeed, drug repurposing has become a much needed discovery strategy to help replenish the rapidly depleting drug pipelines.
The first necessary step in any repurposing effort is to figure out what are all the known drugs. As simple as this might sound, obtaining a comprehensive collection of approved drugs is a non-trivial informatics archeological expedition that requires many laborious hours of (i) "digging" for reliable data sources, (ii) (manually) resolving discrepancies in registry identifiers, synonyms, and/or structures, and (iii) identifying the appropriate vendors/suppliers for sample acquisition and custom synthesis. The NCGC Pharmaceutical Collection (NPC)---under the guidance of our colleagues Ruili Huang
and Noel Southall
---is NCGC's on-going effort to build such a collection for the purpose of systematic serendipity. The coverage of the NPC, to the best of our knowledge, is the most complete collection reported to date.
The development of Tripod is currently focused around the NPC dataset. In particular, we're working on building various relevant networks---e.g., biological, pharmacology, disease---around all known drugs. It's our goal that the initial release of Tripod will come bundled with the NPC dataset and at least one pre-built network.