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Leishmania is a parasite that disfigures or kills two million people every year in the developing world. There may be concerns about the efficacy and safety of current antileishmanial agents. In order to address this high-priority gap, Dr. Dawn Wetzel, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics and Pharmacology at UTSW, has identified a specific class of inhibitors with biological activity against Leishmania parasites. In order to support Dr. Wetzel’s antiparasitic screening efforts, Eisai Co., Ltd., has agreed to share inhibitors from this class of compounds.
GSK will be sharing its Tres Cantos Anti-Malarial Set (TCAMS) compound library with Drs. Audrey Odom John and Paul Hruz at WUSTL for screening for antimalarial drug discovery.
TCAMS, developed as a component of GSK’s research at its Tres Cantos facility, is a diverse set of over 13,500 compounds with activity against blood-stage Plasmodium falciparum, plus associated screening data. GSK shares the TCAMS compounds and data widely to drive antimalarial drug discovery.
Praziquantel was discovered 40 years ago and remains the only available treatment for schistosomiasis, a disease that affects 240 million people globally. Through WIPO Re:Search, investigators from Seattle Children’s Research Institute and the NIAID-funded Seattle Structural Genomics Center for Infectious Disease (SSGCID) are working to solve the crystal structure for Schistosoma HMG-CoA reductase (SmHMGR), a promising drug target. To support these efforts, MSD* scientists developed and shared codon-optimized SmHMGR gene constructs for expressing the SmHMGR protein and solving its crystal structure. With a crystal structure, Dr. Conor Caffrey at the University of California, San Diego plans to carry out rational drug design and optimization of SmHMGR inhibitors.
*MSD is a trademark of Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, NJ, USA
Buruli ulcer, a bacterial disease found mostly in Central and West Africa, destroys skin and soft tissue, resulting in large necrotic ulcers. Primarily affecting children, the disease causes significant long-term functional disability and permanent deformity unless diagnosed and treated early. In addition to requiring frequent visits to health clinics over a period of several weeks — which is not always practical in remote areas — current medicines can also cause severe side effects such as hearing loss. Professor Fabrice Boyom at University of Yaoundé I aims to develop a safer Buruli ulcer drug that can be
administered over a shorter time frame. Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany is sharing its Mini Library with Professor Boyom for his Buruli ulcer drug discovery program.
Chagas disease, human African trypanosomiasis, and leishmaniasis are neglected tropical diseases that collectively affect millions of people worldwide. Improved treatments for all three diseases are greatly needed. Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany will provide GRIDD investigator Dr. Vicky Avery with its Mini Library to screen for Chagas disease, human African trypanosomiasis, and leishmaniasis drug discovery.
Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany’s Mini Library is a collection of drug-like former Biopharma research and development compounds and their derivatives. The compounds cover a wide range of molecular targets, including enzymes, hormone and neurotransmitter receptors, transporters, and ion channels.
Johnson & Johnson will be sharing a phenotypic screening library with Dr. Lawal Bilbis at UDUS for screening for antimalarial drug discovery.