The Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), India, has initiated an Open Source Drug Discovery programme for malaria (OSDDm) as a consortium with international partnership to promote a collaborative model for the search for anti-malarials. Efforts aimed at drug discovery and development for malaria are increasingly realizing the need to share results of initial anti-malarial screening, manage and filter high-throughput screening data, develop and maintain appropriate in vitro screening systems and animal malaria models, consolidate the search for new drug targets and their validation, design novel chemical entities, and investigate natural products identified from traditional knowledge for lead discovery.
The research community for infectious diseases is alive to the need for open access and OSDDm offers a unified collaborative research platform for the malaria community to share existing resources and expertise geared towards drug discovery and development. Such an integrated platform would ensure that harmonized procedures are followed and the requisite resources and reagents available in different laboratories are shared for specific objectives identified by the community.
In extension of the OSDD paradigm, the malaria initiative proposes to expand on wet lab approaches while retaining and building upon the computational approaches that have yielded important results in the area of tuberculosis.
OSDDm will also link to open drug discovery initiatives in malaria, such as GSK Tres Cantos Open Lab and the University of Sydney's Chemistry Group to enhance the scope of international participation and cooperation.
To further build a vibrant community, OSDDm has initiated an Outreach Programme to approach students in their universities and colleges throughout India. Please email us at malariaosdd at gmail dot com for questions and suggestions.