The Agouron Institute, a non-profit research organization, was formed in
1978 as a vehicle by which new research frontiers and technologies in biology
and chemistry could be investigated. The Institute commenced its activities
with a small grant from the Office of Naval Research on the marine fouling
problem --- the beginning of a long- standing program in environmental microbiology.
By 1982 the research program had expanded considerably and had obtained
funding from the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes
of Health. Early successes in the protein engineering and computational
groups led in 1984 to a commercial entity, Agouron Pharmaceuticals, formed
to exploit the potential of rational drug design. It became a major biotechnology
company and its first rationally designed drug, Viracept™ is a leading
HIV protease inhibitor. The use of protease inhibitors together with reverse
transcriptase inhibitors in a multi-drug therapy regime has led to a dramatic
decrease in deaths due to AIDS. In 1998 Agouron Pharmaceuticals was sold
to Warner Lambert that then merged with Pfizer. In the process, the endowment
of the Institute increased substantially. As a result, the Board of Directors
of the Institute adopted new strategies to achieve the Institute goal of
making significant contributions in biology and chemistry. The Institute
decided to change its mode of operation and explore the possibilities of
making highly leveraged investments in basic and applied biology and chemistry.
To this end the decision was made to carry out a study program in several
promising areas of research.
The results of our studies are published in several white papers listed under “Publications”.
We do NOT accept unsolicited grant proposals.
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