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Approximately 11,000 people per month die, and approximately 450,000 people per year suffer life-altering injuries such as amputation and permanent disability, due to snakebite envenoming. Professor Nicholas Casewell, a Wellcome Trust research fellow at the Centre of Snakebite Research and Interventions (CSRI), Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, is working on innovative approaches to discover and develop the next generation of treatments for snakebites. To support these efforts, Johnson & Johnson will be sharing its diverse compound library and a targeted set of compounds to potentially identify novel inhibitors of the toxic components of snake venom.
Johnson & Johnson is sharing its Jump-stARter library with Dr. Peter Myler at Seattle Children’s Research Institute (SCRI) for screening for leishmaniasis drug discovery. Under the umbrella of the Seattle Structural Genomics Center for Infectious Disease, SCRI is partnering with the University of Washington’s Dr. Wes Van Voorhis to carry out the screening.
Dr. Stenio Fragoso, Head of the Laboratory of Molecular Biology of Trypanosomatids at Fundação Oswaldo Cruz (Fiocruz), is interested in testing inhibitors against recombinant T. cruzi Topoisomerase II. To initiate these studies, Dr. Fragoso and investigators from Seattle Children’s Research Institute (SCRI) and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)-funded Seattle Structural Genomics Center for Infectious Disease (SSGCID; contract HHSN272201700059C) are collaborating to develop constructs to express and purify T. cruzi Topoisomerase II. Once the protein is purified, it will be incorporated into an in vitro assay to identify new drugs for Chagas disease.
Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany will be sharing its Mini Library of compounds with Prof. Fabrice Boyom at University of Yaoundé I for leishmaniasis and amoebiasis 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.
Dr. Edmund Ekuadzi, a former Novartis Next Generation Scientist (NGS) Program Fellow at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in Ghana, has identified and purified a series of natural product extracts from Ghanaian plants for drug development purposes. Dr. Ekuadzi has shared a set of extracts with Dr. Conor Caffrey at University of California, San Diego (UCSD) to screen for human African trypanosomiasis (HAT) and schistosomiasis drug discovery.
Leishmaniasis, malaria, and human African trypanosomiasis (HAT) are among the parasitic infectious diseases that disproportionately exact a heavy toll on people living in low- and middle-income countries. Prof. Fabrice Boyom, Head of the Antimicrobial & Biocontrol Agents Unit at University of Yaoundé I, is working toward the discovery and development of novel drugs for all three diseases by targeting the parasites’ critical metabolic pathways. To support Prof. Boyom’s drug discovery research, Pfizer Inc. has agreed to provide certain potassium channel blockers.