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Buruli ulcer is a debilitating and stigmatizing disease, and affects mainly children in West and Central Africa. It is a chronic condition that results in skin lesions and can lead to permanent disability and disfigurement. Dr. Tianyu Zhang, Principal Investigator and Director of the National Key Laboratory for Respiratory Diseases at Guangzhou Institutes of Biomedicine and Health (GIBH), is exploring the bactericidal activity of the antibiotic candidate TB47 against Buruli ulcer. He will send the TB47 candidate to Professor Fabrice Boyom at the University of Yaoundé I for further testing against clinical Mycobacterium ulcerans strains.
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.
Johnson & Johnson will be sharing a phenotypic screening library with Dr. Lawal Bilbis at UDUS for screening for antimalarial drug discovery. Phenotypic library made up of approximately 1,000 compounds
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.
Key personnel: Dawn Wetzel (UTSW)
Johnson & Johnson will be sharing a highly annotated phenotypic compound library with Dr. Conor Caffrey at the University of California, San Diego to screen for schistosomiasis 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