How do you "rapidly" screen 250 million small molecules--eventually 1 billion small molecules--for their cancer-fighting potential? Enlist, literally, a "world" of computers to perform the computational chemistry.

That's the goal of Graham Richards, chairman of the chemistry department at Oxford University and director of the National Foundation for Cancer Research Center for Computational Drug Design, a virtual collaboration set up last August with a $750,000 NFCR grant.

Richards recently got some help from a computer program called THINK, developed by United Devices of Austin, Texas, and from another company that knows a little about computers: Intel Corp. in Santa Clara, Calif. In early April, the chipmaker launched the Intel® Philanthropic Peer-to-Peer Program in a special news briefing at company headquarters. Joining Intel president and CEO Craig Barrett on the podium were Richards; Sujuan Ba, science director for the NFCR; Ed Hubbard, CEO of United Devices; and...

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