Media Releases

Open-source scientific research comes to Brazil

March 11, 2015

CAMPINAS, SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL— Open-access research into drug dis­cov­ery has arrived in South Amer­i­ca, with a ground-break­ing col­lab­o­ra­tion between lead­ing sci­en­tists in North Amer­i­ca, Europe and Brazil to pro­vide com­plete­ly free and open research results to the world.

A $4.3‑million (USD) grant from the São Paulo Research Foun­da­tion (FAPESP) plus an in-kind con­tri­bu­tion of US$ 1.9 mil­lion by The Uni­ver­si­ty of Camp­inas (UNICAMP), totalling US$ 6,2 mil­lion, will estab­lish Brazil’s first open-access research facil­i­ty, the Pro­tein Kinase Chem­i­cal Biol­o­gy Cen­tre at the UNICAMP in Brazil.

The Cen­tre, led by Pro­fes­sor Paulo Arru­da of UNICAMP, will exam­ine the pro­tein kinas­es in the human genome that are key reg­u­la­tors of RNA biol­o­gy and epi­ge­net­ics and explore the appli­ca­tion of the new dis­cov­er­ies to plant research. The new Cen­tre will advance unre­strict­ed dis­cov­ery as a mem­ber of the Struc­tur­al Genomics Con­sor­tium (SGC) — a pub­lic-pri­vate part­ner­ship that sup­ports the dis­cov­ery of new med­i­cines through open access research — that is based in Oxford, U.K. and Toron­to, Cana­da.

“We are espe­cial­ly pleased that this part­ner­ship, led by Prof. Arru­da and UNICAMP, boosts coop­er­a­tion between inter­na­tion­al­ly renowned research insti­tu­tions and the pri­vate sec­tor,” said Car­los Hen­rique de Brito Cruz, sci­en­tif­ic direc­tor of FAPESP. “This paves the way for a vibrant and self-sus­tain­ing bio­science clus­ter that will bring ben­e­fits to the State of São Paulo and to Brazil.”

Researchers in Camp­inas will work close­ly with col­leagues at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Oxford and the Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to to gen­er­ate selec­tive small mol­e­cule inhibitors — or chem­i­cal probes — that can be used to uncov­er new ideas for ther­a­pies. After suf­fi­cient test­ing, they will be made avail­able to Brazil­ian and inter­na­tion­al sci­en­tists with­out restric­tion on use.

“Despite their impor­tance and suit­abil­i­ty for drug dis­cov­ery, only a small frac­tion of kinas­es have been stud­ied,” said Arru­da. “We will be tar­get­ing a list of 26 under-explored kinas­es that are linked to neu­ro­log­i­cal dis­eases, angio­gen­e­sis, and can­cer. They rep­re­sent a rich source of new biol­o­gy and are the focus of this pro­pos­al. By cre­at­ing this open access chem­istry plat­form at UNICAMP, we hope to estab­lish UNICAMP as one of the world cen­ters of kinase chem­i­cal biol­o­gy.”

The knowl­edge gained by SGC researchers is shared freely with the world, bound by no patents or pro­pri­etary agree­ments.

“Through our inter­na­tion­al pub­lic-pri­vate part­ner­ship, we are able to sup­port a robust, effi­cient and effec­tive net­work that can iden­ti­fy new phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal treat­ments to address unmet med­ical needs in can­cer, metab­o­lism, inflam­ma­tion and oth­er dis­eases,” said Pro­fes­sor Aled Edwards, CEO of the SGC. “Cap­i­tal­iz­ing on the out­stand­ing schol­ar­ship already present at UNICAMP, sup­port­ed by FAPESP, a third SGC out­post can be estab­lished to fur­ther our com­mit­ment to open access research and dis­cov­ery.”

This work is sup­port­ed by part­ners in the phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal indus­try, includ­ing GSK, who con­tribute both tech­ni­cal exper­tise and funds to uncov­er new dis­cov­er­ies in one of the most suc­cess­ful tar­get areas in drug dis­cov­ery.

“We are strong pro­po­nents of an open pub­lic-pri­vate part­ner­ship to address the untar­get­ed kinome,” said Bill Zuercher, Senior Sci­en­tif­ic Inves­ti­ga­tor, GSK Research and Devel­op­ment. “This Cen­tre will allow us to work along­side oth­er part­ners in a non-com­pet­i­tive way to share knowl­edge and access to priv­i­leged and valu­able research tools that oth­er­wise may have remained unuti­lized. We are excit­ed and hope­ful that this effort will improve our abil­i­ty to select effec­tive tar­gets for new med­i­cines – even a mar­gin­al improve­ment would sig­nif­i­cant­ly ben­e­fit patients.”

The new Cen­tre will be for­mal­ly launched on March 10, 2015.


The São Paulo Research Foun­da­tion (FAPESP) is a pub­lic insti­tu­tion with the mis­sion of sup­port­ing sci­ence and tech­nol­o­gy research in the state of São Paulo. FAPESP selects and sup­ports research projects in all fields of knowl­edge sub­mit­ted by researchers asso­ci­at­ed with insti­tu­tions of high­er edu­ca­tion and research in the state of São Paulo. FAPESP also offers pro­grams to sup­port research geared to inno­va­tion in part­ner­ship with com­pa­nies and has a large num­ber of agree­ments with for­eign fund­ing agen­cies, research per­form­ing orga­ni­za­tions and com­pa­nies to co-select and co-fund coop­er­a­tive research. These agree­ments offer fund­ing for research projects, select­ed joint­ly by FAPESP and the part­ner­ing enti­ty. In 2014 FAPESP ana­lyzed 26,637 research pro­pos­als, in all cas­es through a rig­or­ous peer review sys­tem, and the over­all suc­cess rate was 45%. In 2014, the Foun­da­tion dis­bursed $490 mil­lion (R$1.1 bil­lion). For more infor­ma­tion:


The Uni­ver­si­ty of Camp­inas (UNICAMP) is a pub­lic insti­tu­tion found­ed in 1966 by the State of São Paulo in the city of Camp­inas. Although UNICAMP is finan­cial­ly sub­or­di­nat­ed to the State Gov­ern­ment, it is an inde­pen­dent and autonomous uni­ver­si­ty in terms of its edu­ca­tion­al poli­cies. It is a non­prof­it orga­ni­za­tion and no tuition is charged from stu­dents. Uni­camp has three campi — in Camp­inas, Piraci­ca­ba and Limeira — which are home to 24 teach­ing and research cen­ters. It also has a vast hos­pi­tal com­plex (two large hos­pi­tals in Camp­inas, and one in each of the neigh­bor­ing towns of Sumaré and Hor­tolân­dia); 23 inter­dis­ci­pli­nary cen­ters; two tech­ni­cal high schools; and a series of sup­port units with­in a uni­verse of about 50,000 peo­ple in which thou­sands of research projects are car­ried out. Uni­camp is respon­si­ble for 15 % of all sci­en­tif­ic pro­duc­tion in Brazil and is ranked 15th on the 2013/2014 list of the world´s top 50 uni­ver­si­ties under 50 years old, accord­ing to Quacquarel­li Symonds rank­ing (QS). Present­ly, Uni­camp has 33,545 enrolled stu­dents (18,338 under­grad­u­ate, 11,404 grad­u­ate and 3,803 tech­ni­cal high school stu­dents).

About GSK

GSK — one of the world’s lead­ing research-based phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal and health­care com­pa­nies — is com­mit­ted to improv­ing the qual­i­ty of human life by enabling peo­ple to do more, feel bet­ter and live longer. For fur­ther infor­ma­tion please vis­it

About the Struc­tur­al Genomics Con­sor­tium (SGC)

The SGC accel­er­ates research in new areas of human biol­o­gy and drug dis­cov­ery by mak­ing all its research out­put avail­able to the sci­en­tif­ic com­mu­ni­ty with no strings attached, and by cre­at­ing an open col­lab­o­ra­tive net­work of sci­en­tists in hun­dreds of uni­ver­si­ties around the world and in nine glob­al phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal com­pa­nies. SGC is fund­ed by Abb­vie, Bay­er, Boehringer Ingel­heim, Cana­da Foun­da­tion for Inno­va­tion, Eli Lil­ly Cana­da, Genome Cana­da, GSK, Janssen, Mer­ck, Novar­tis, Ontario Min­istry of Research & Inno­va­tion, Pfiz­er, Take­da, and the Well­come Trust. For more infor­ma­tion about the Struc­tur­al Genomics Con­sor­tium, please vis­it

About the Uni­ver­si­ty of Oxford

Oxford University’s Med­ical Sci­ences Divi­sion is one of the largest bio­med­ical research cen­tres in Europe, with over 2,500 peo­ple involved in research and more than 2,800 stu­dents. The Uni­ver­si­ty is rat­ed the best in the world for med­i­cine, and it is home to the UK’s top-ranked med­ical school. From the genet­ic and mol­e­c­u­lar basis of dis­ease to the lat­est advances in neu­ro­science, Oxford is at the fore­front of med­ical research. A great strength of Oxford med­i­cine is its long-stand­ing net­work of clin­i­cal research units in Asia and Africa, enabling world-lead­ing research on the most press­ing glob­al health chal­lenges such as malar­ia, TB, HIV/AIDS and flu. Oxford is also renowned for its large-scale stud­ies which exam­ine the role of fac­tors such as smok­ing, alco­hol and diet on can­cer, heart dis­ease and oth­er con­di­tions.

About the Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to

The Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to is at the heart of one of the great bio­med­ical research, edu­ca­tion and clin­i­cal care net­works in the world. With nine ful­ly affil­i­at­ed hos­pi­tals and research insti­tutes and 20 com­mu­ni­ty-affil­i­at­ed hos­pi­tals and clin­i­cal care sites, the Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to is a research pow­er­house that offers unpar­al­leled oppor­tu­ni­ties for its 6,800 fac­ul­ty and 7,000-plus stu­dents at all lev­els. Near­ly half of Ontario’s med­ical doc­tors and 25 per cent of all health and bio­med­ical PhDs in Cana­da were trained at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to, which con­sis­tent­ly ranks among the top uni­ver­si­ties world­wide. For fur­ther infor­ma­tion please vis­it

For more infor­ma­tion, please con­tact:

Temer­ty Temer­ty Fac­ul­ty of Med­i­cine, Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to

Hei­di Singer – Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Spe­cial­ist
(+1) 416–978-45811 /

FAPESP Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Man­age­ment Office / Press Office

Samuel Antenor / 55 11 3838–4381 /
Fer­nan­do Cun­ha / 55 11 3838–4151 /