In 1994, DTP launched its website, making its drug discovery and development services and the results from the human tumor cell line assay publicly accessible to researchers worldwide. At first, the site offered in vitro human cell line data for a few thousand compounds and in vitro anti-HIV screening data for roughly 42,000 compounds. Today, visitors who come to the site can find:
In addition to browsing DTP’s databases and downloading data, researchers can request individual samples or sets of compounds on 96-well plates for research, or they can submit their own compounds for consideration for screening via DTP’s online submission form. Once a compound is submitted for screening, researchers can follow its progress and retrieve data using a secure web interface.
The NCI has collected information on almost half a million chemical structures in the past 50 years. DTP has made this information accessible and useful for investigators through its 3-D database, a collection of three-dimensional structures for more than 200,000 drugs. Investigators use the 3-D database to screen compounds for anticancer therapeutic activity.
Also available on DTP’s website are 127,000 connection tables for anticancer agents. A connection table is a convenient way of depicting molecular structures without relying on drawn chemical structures. As unique lists of atoms and their connections, the connection tables can be indexed and stored in computer databases where they can be used for patent searches, toxicology studies, and precursor searching, for example.
The website and its databases are maintained by DTP’s Information Technology Branch.