Efforts to develop new medicines for diseases of the developing world (DDW) have been somewhat fragmented in the past and progress has been limited, despite considerable investment. Public-private partnership (PPP) is becoming an essential model for research in neglected disease areas. However, collaboration on this scale presents unique challenges, some of which can be well managed with the right informatics tools.
GLAXOSMITHKLINE (GSK) has pioneered a model of true open partnership with academia through the Tres Cantos Open Lab Foundation, a ground-breaking PPP initiative set up at GSK’s dedicated DDW research facility at Tres Cantos in Madrid. Since its inception in 2011, the Tres Cantos Open Lab Foundation has managed more than 50 projects of drug discovery efforts against tuberculosis, malaria and kinetoplastid diseases (including trypanosomiasis, ie, African sleeping sickness and Chagas disease, and leishmaniasis). It is the world’s first open laboratory to investigate diseases of the developing world.
The FP7-funded Kinetoplastid Drug Development (KINDReD) consortium has been created to strengthen and advance the current drug development pipeline in neglected infectious diseases. The consortium’s key objective is to bring promising anti-trypanosomatid drug discovery initiatives forward by combining the strengths of key experts in industry and academia to create a unique and powerful drug discovery platform with the common goal of advancing promising laboratory-driven discoveries into clinical utility.
The KINDReD consortium integrates leading academic laboratories in Europe (Portugal, United Kingdom, France and Switzerland), the USA (California), India and South America (Brazil) with high throughput screening (HTS) facilities equally distributed between all three major kinetoplastid parasites. CDD Vault is the collaborative data management platform used across all consortium members.
This Harvard spinout company uses CDD Vault to manage both academic-industry and China CRO collaborations. After becoming a customer in 2009, they have grown to a dozen CDD Vault users presently, all while filing for an IND for their HDAC inhibitor and raising $27M in a Series-B financing and a partnership with Celgene ($100M upfront cash).
The NIH Neuroscience Blueprint licenses CDD Vault across 7 leading academic laboratories, 4 CROs (including CDD), and ex-pharma drug development consultants. Their collective historical data was loaded into CDD Vault within one month, allowing them to work as a “virtual pharma” to develop compounds from chemical optimization through Phase I clinical testing.
UCLA’s screening center uses CDD Vault to support all campus-wide collaborations. In addition, The Center for Medical Countermeasures against Radiation (CMCR) uses CDD Vault as part of their multi-institution consortium to develop small molecule radiation mitigators.
In support of the foundation’s pursuit of collaborative research on tuberculosis, CDD Vault is used by 250 researchers across 58 laboratories. Twenty different collaborations between teams have been enabled to securely share their data, and for this, CDD Vault won the BioIT World Editor’s Choice Best Practices Award.
An ad hoc collaboration was established to evaluate anti-malarial compounds for the growing challenge of chloroquine resistance. A virtual screen was performed using CDD Vault with contributions from four independent groups across two continents. The most promising candidate compounds were assayed, and novel compounds that almost entirely reversed the resistance were identified. This process shaved months to years off a project relative to working independently and/or synthesizing new compounds from scratch.
Translated with Google Translate