Burlingame, CA, March 4, 2011 — Collaborative Drug Discovery, Inc. (CDD; https://www.collaborativedrug.com/) has joined the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), AstraZeneca, Sanofi-Aventis, the Universities of Pavia, Uppsala and Cambridge, and nearly twenty other research groups from 13 different countries, to form the More Medicines for Tuberculosis (MM4TB; http://www.mm4tb.org/) consortium, which aims to develop new drugs for successful and shorter treatment of Tuberculosis (TB). Funding is from the European Commission’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) and the consortium is led by TB expert Professor Stewart Cole from EPFL.
The MM4TB research consortium has been assembled to discover anti-infective agents that will combat TB. Evolved from the FP6 project, New Medicines for TB (NM4TB) – which successfully delivered a candidate drug for clinical development two years ahead of schedule – the MM4TB team will apply an integrated approach that includes tripartite screening strategies and medicinal chemistry, functional genomics and structural biology. This combination of approaches is a broad strategy to discover new compounds, perform pharmacological validation, identify targets, and analyze variety mechanisms of action during Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M. tb) infection.
“CDD is honored to participating in this major consortium, providing the CDD cloud-based database for all the groups to securely collaborate on their molecules and biological data for M.tb over the next 5 years. In addition CDD will provide additional cheminformatics assistance for in silico target-fishing by leveraging the public M.tb datasets as well as others provided to the scientific community. This will complement the M.tb research CDD is involved with funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation” commented Dr. Sean Ekins, Collaborations Director at CDD, Inc.
“MM4TB is arguably the strongest consortium yet established for TB drug discovery” says Professor Cole “and we are proud to combine the innovative skills of academia with the drug discovery know-how of big pharma and biotechs.”
Dr. Balganesh Tanjore, head of Innovative Science at AstraZeneca’s R&D India, said: “AstraZeneca is excited to continue its support for research surrounding TB. Building on our firm foundation from our prior work on the NM4TB project, and exploiting its proprietary pharmacophores, we are hopeful that MM4TB will also uncover new drugs for TB treatment.”
MM4TB will employ novel whole cell and phenotypic approaches for M. tb, in conjunction with a prioritized list of validated targets, seeking to generate novel drug leads. A major objective of this initiative is to validate at least five new drug targets pharmacologically and discover at least one family of candidate drugs (CD). These CD can be transferred to biotechnology companies or pharmaceutical partners for further development. The involvement of two leading pharmaceutical companies in MM4TB is a major asset; in its previous form as NM4TB (New Medicines for Tuberculosis) the consortium successfully discovered the benzothiazinone (BTZ) series, now in late stage preclinical development.
Dr. Didier Trono, Dean of the EPFL’s Faculty of Life Sciences, said: “Consortia such as MM4TB are vital to drug discovery for neglected diseases and EPFL is proud to host this flagship project.”
For more information please visit: http://www.mm4tb.org/
Notes to Editors
TB is one of the oldest infectious diseases known to man and its agent, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, has infected one third of the world’s population. As a result, someone dies from the disease every 15 seconds and 30 million more people will lose their lives to TB in the next decade. Although directly observed short course chemotherapy (DOTS) is available to treat the disease, this treatment is old, slow and inefficient by the current standards of the pharmaceutical industry. Furthermore, multidrug resistant strains have appeared in increasing numbers during the past 15 years as the global TB and HIV epidemics have intersected as poverty spreads. Now, with increased public and private funding, some of the most innovative approaches are being used to identify and validate targets for new TB drugs, and to implement the screening and medicinal chemistry processes required to identify lead compounds for the generation of candidate drugs.
About Collaborative Drug Discovery, Inc.
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.
For media enquiries, please contact: Barry Bunin, Ph.D., President & CEO of Collaborative Drug Discovery, Inc., +1-650-204-3084, [email protected].