Collaborative Drug Discovery Receives Gates Foundation Grant to Support the Development of a Database to Accelerate Discovery of New Therapies Against Tuberculosis

Wednesday, November 19, 2008 General News
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BURLINGAME, Calif., Nov. 18 Collaborative Drug Discovery,Inc. (CDD) today announced that it has received a grant for $1,896,923 fromthe Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to develop a collaborative database thatwill enable scientists to archive, mine, and selectively collaborate aroundtheir research data to discover new cures for tuberculosis (TB). The TBbacillus infects approximately one third of the world's population and thedisease kills over 1.5 million people every year. The CDD TB database willintegrate the efforts of academic, other non-profit, and corporatelaboratories distributed across the globe and accelerate the discovery of newtherapies against this deadly disease.

CDD also announced that it has hired Sean Ekins, PhD, as Director ofCollaborations for the project. "The neglected disease research communityneeds new ways to integrate disjointed drug discovery efforts so thatdispersed labs can form efficient virtual pharmaceutical organizations," saidDr. Ekins. "This project will spark collaborative efforts to discover moreeffective drugs against TB that are less expensive and easier to administer."

"This grant promotes our goal of developing more effective medicines forthose in developing countries who need them most," said Ken Duncan, SeniorProgram Officer at the Gates Foundation. "CDD's technology will help theentire TB research community to collaborate more easily. We hope it will speedthe scientific breakthroughs urgently needed to make effective therapies moreaccessible to the world's poorest people, and confront the challenges ofmultidrug- and extensively drug-resistant TB strains."

The two-year project will initially involve eight academic research groupsand later expand to include other participants. "CDD has already establishedits software platform as an indispensable tool for many scientists studyingneglected infectious diseases including TB," said Professor Carl Nathan, MD,Chairman, Department of Microbiology and Immunology at Weill Medical Collegeof Cornell University. "This grant from the Gates Foundation will encouragemany more researchers to participate in the CDD community."

"We are thrilled that the Gates Foundation is supporting this project,"said Barry Bunin, PhD, CEO & President of CDD. "Early on, CDD decided to focuson supporting humanitarian as well as commercial drug discovery. This grantvalidates that decision and provides a model for CDD to work with industry andother foundations targeting additional specific diseases."

CDD is currently working with the Myelin Repair Foundation (MRF), whichhas pioneered a research paradigm that organizes diverse academic groups intohighly-structured collaborations with a sharp focus on outcomes. "We aredelighted to see more organizations and researchers endorse the emergingcollaborative model for drug discovery," said Scott Johnson, President andFounder of the Myelin Repair Foundation (MRF). The MRF and CDD recentlypartnered to customize CDD's tools as part of a proof-of concept program toorganize data from the MRF's highly-structured myelin repair scientificcollaboration.

About Collaborative Drug Discovery, Inc.

Collaborative Drug Discovery, Inc. (CDD) provides web-based software thatorganizes preclinical research data to help scientists advance new drugcandidates more effectively. The CDD database enables scientists to "archive,mine, and collaborate"(R) around preclinical chemical and biological drugdiscovery data through a web-based interface. The software helps distributedresearch groups to safely store and intelligently analyze small molecule,enzyme, cell and animal bioactivity data accumulated from both low-throughputand high-throughput screens. Scientists can choose which datasets to keepcompletely private and which datasets, if any, to share securely with selectedcolleagues. Unique collaboration features and CDD's community-orientedapproach help unite globally dispersed humanitarian efforts against neglectedinfectious diseases. Similar collaborative strategies are also rapidly gainingprominence in the commercial arena. CDD offers its industrial-strengthdatabase software at a price affordable to academic laboratories, researchfoundations, and small companies. For more information, visit

SOURCE Collaborative Drug Discovery, Inc.

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