MENLO PARK, Calif., March 28, 2011 — SRI International, an independent nonprofit research and development organization, and Collaborative Drug Discovery (CDD), provider of a web-based drug discovery software platform, announced that they have been awarded a grant to support the first year of a software development project focused on tuberculosis drug discovery efforts.
The Phase I Small Business Technology Transfer Research (STTR) grant from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, is part of a program to develop a tuberculosis information repository that can be used to identify novel therapeutics.
“Using computational methods, we now have the opportunity to directly impact infectious disease research and drug development by centralizing data and enabling greater research collaboration through information sharing,” said Carolyn Talcott, Ph.D., program manager, Information & Computer Science Division at SRI International.
The resulting repository will be enhanced with powerful inference and analysis tools that can facilitate tuberculosis drug development efforts through a combination of diverse databases, cheminformatics, and pathway-based analysis. Cheminformatics is a computational technique used to predict and reason about chemical properties, while pathway analysis uses computational methods to reason about biological processes such as metabolism.
Diverse biological data derived from the repository will be combined with logic-based modeling and inference techniques developed by scientists at SRI International and cheminformatics-based computational prediction techniques developed by CDD.
“This co-developed tool will represent a synergistic computational tool for hypotheses testing, knowledge sharing, data archiving, data mining and drug discovery,” said Sean Ekins, Ph.D., collaborations director at CDD.
“The societal impact of this work will be the ability to mine the deposited data, search for new potential targets and lead molecules, and bring the data and researchers to a single centralized location,” said Barry Bunin, president & CEO of CDD. “This project builds upon on our work in TB and represents a way of bringing the generally separate biology and chemistry information together, an approach that could be expanded to other diseases.”
The project described was supported by Award Number R41AI088893 from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases or the National Institutes of Health.
CDD (www.collaborativedrug.com) provides the most widely used web-based drug discovery software platform on the market. “CDD Vault™” is the secure, private industrial-strength database combining traditional drug discovery informatics (registration and SAR) with social networking capabilities. “CDD Collaborate™” enables real-time collaboration by securely exchanging selected confidential data with external researchers. “CDD Public™” enables researchers to mine a unique aggregation of information from a variety of scientific data providers.
Silicon Valley-based SRI International, a nonprofit research and development organization, performs sponsored R&D for governments, businesses, and foundations. SRI brings its innovations to the marketplace through technology licensing, new products, and spin-off ventures. Commemorating its 65th anniversary in 2011, SRI is known for world-changing innovations in computing, health and pharmaceuticals, chemistry and materials, sensing, energy, education, national defense, and more.