Winter 2015 Newsletter

Welcome to the Winter 2015 Newsletter from CompChem Solutions Limited.

In this edition we suggest why hiring interim staff may be more useful to your business than you might think, we unveil our new training course offering, and we describe some innovative new software from Optibrium.  The Spring Meeting of the UK QSAR and Chemoinformatics Group is approaching fast, and it should be a good one.  Lastly we do our usual round up of events and jobs.

Why do you need an interim?

Although every interim project comes with its own background there are often similar reasons why organisations can benefit from the use of a temporary staff member even when the available in-house team for that function is sizeable.  One of the most frequent reasons for “going interim” is when an existing team member is unable to fulfill their duties for a limited period of time, due to, for example, maternity leave, sick leave or secondment. In such circumstances, an appropriately experienced interim can come in and ‘plug the gap’ for the required period reasonably seamlessly.

Another common situation is when an organisation loses a staff member and it takes longer than anticipated to recruit a suitable replacement.In these circumstances  an interim employee can be sourced and placed with your organisation for as long as it takes you to find the right person for the permanent position you’re recruiting for.  This way you can avoid being rushed into a decision on who to employ, and can be flexible regarding notice periods, holidays etc.

Although many projects arise because of changes within a team, head count restrictions across the whole company can also present opportunities to introduce an interim staffing solution to bridge the gap.

We can provide an interim scientist on a rolling monthly basis until any head count freeze is over and you can find a permanent recruit.

Another common reason for hiring an interim is simply that the organisation suddenly has a temporary increase in workload that the existing team cannot meet; a suitably experienced interim member can ‘hit the floor running’ and make sure the team continues to achieve its targets.

Finally, there are times when a team requires specialist skills or a higher level of experience than that available in-house at that particular time. At CompChem Solutions Limited, we have access to highly experienced scientists across numerous disciplines and therapeutic areas who can come into your organisation and offer the additional skills and experience you need.

With sufficient lead time we can identify an interim with the right fit for a given organisation and ensure they are available when needed.

If you have any questions regarding interim staffing or would like to know more about our interim solutions, contact us for more information.


New:   Training Courses from CompChem Solutions Limited

With the help of our new associates and consultants we are delighted to be able to offer a range of bespoke training courses in computational aspects of drug discovery, which can be run on site at your own convenience.

We have expertise in:

  • Computational chemistry to aid drug discovery
  • Computational biology to aid target selection
  • Computational approaches to assessing druggability
  • Approaches to aid lead discovery, lead hopping and lead optimisation
  • Protein structural assessment and modelling
  • Virtual screening – what to expect and what to look out for
  • Predictive ADMET – what should you believe?
  • Medicinal chemistry
  • How to design bioavailable compound sets
  • Fragment-based drug design
  • Uses of biophysical approaches to aid discovery
  • How to design constructs for x-ray crystallography
  • IP – what and when to patent or trademark, and what needs to be in place to do so

We can design specific training courses using any aspect of our expertise to directly meet your training needs, whether that be to provide an overview of some areas of Discovery for new recruits, to train up your staff or students in a particular discipline, or to provide  some insight to the whole Discovery process to non-scientists in your organisation.

Courses can be run for as few as 5 delegates.  Contact us for further information and pricing options.


Optibrium’s Latest Innovations

CompChem Solutions Limited continues to partner with Optibrium, and is pleased to be able to access Optibrium’s products to assist research on behalf of clients.

Two new innovations from Optibrium may be of particular interest to our clients.

From an idea first mooted at one of Optibrium’s “Consultant Days” attended by Susan Boyd, where comp chem and med chem consultants are invited to a day of talks and discussions around past and potential future development of Optibrium’s tools, a novel way of interacting with chemical structures has been implemented within StarDrop.   The “Card View” interface lets users lay out virtual playing cards, each presenting a compound complete with associated data – including the “glowing molecule” representation-  onto a virtual desktop environment.  The cards can be annotated and arranged as required, offering a unique, chemist-friendly way of organising chemical data.  Automated analysis methods such as clustering and matched pair analysis can be readily applied to the compound set as needed.

One of the most common issues encountered when applying computational lead-hopping approaches is that the compounds generated are often not entirely sensible from a med chem perspective.  Optibrium have further developed Nova, StarDrop’s lead-hopping plug-in module which can help generate new chemistry ideas based on existing hits, to help overcome such issues.  Nova can now be optionally linked to the BIOSTER database (from Digital Chemistry) of 23,000 chemical transformations/modifications which have precedent in analogue design.  The BIOSTER modifications include bioisosteric replacement, linker replacement and reversible derivitisations alongside traditional med chem analogue transformations.

To learn how use of these tools, and other Optibrium software, can form part of an integrated service offering to accelerate your research contact us for more information.


UK QSAR & Chemoinformatics Group Spring Meeting

The next meeting of the UK QSAR & Chemoinformatics Group will be help at Lhasa in Leeds on 21st May.   The meeting will have a strong focus on tox and metabolism topics, and will feature speakers from Lhasa as well as from other experts in the field.  Registration is not yet open, but more details will soon, and in the UK QSAR Group’s own newsletter in April.  If you’ve not already signed up to those newsletters, you can do that on the UK QSAR Group’s website.

Please remember that these meetings are free to attend, but that they rely on the generous sponsorship of the hosting organisation.  Numbers are always limited, and reserving a spot but then failing to attend can mean that others miss out on the opportunity of a place.  If you do register and then find you can’t make it, please let the organisers know so they can reallocate your place!



Cambridge Chemoinformatics Network Meeting, 25th February 2015, CCDC Cambridge

SCI Phenotypic Approaches in Drug Discovery, 18th March 2015, London

RSC/SCI Fragments 2015, 22-24th March 2015, Cambridge

RSC/SCI Proteinase 2015, 13-14th April 2015, Basel, Switzerland

RSC/SCI Nucleosides and Nucleotides: Synthetic and Biological Chemistry, 13th April 2015, London

UK QSAR and Chemoinformatics Group Meeting, 21st May 2015, Lhasa, Leeds

BioTrinity 2015, 11-15 May 2015, Oxford



Computational Chemist/Molecular Modeller, Inhibox, Oxford

Chemoinformatics/Scientific Programmer, Inhibox, Oxford

Senior Computational Chemist, Charles River Laboratories, Cambridge, UK




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