OSDD to revolutionise drug discovery:CSIR DG

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Hyderabad, Sep 30 (UNI) The Open Source Drug Discovery (OSDD) programme of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research will usher in collective research for infectious tropical diseases, including Tuberculosis by scientists, researchers, students, and revolutionise drug discovery, according to CSIR Director General Samir K Brahmachari.

Dr Brahmachari, who was here in connection with the four-day International Human Genome Meeting which concluded today told UNI that ''similar to development of open-source software, this model provides for internet-enabled platform, defining drug development challenges and reducing the long-drawn drug discovery process.'' The Planning Commission has sanctioned 38 million US for the OSDD project, which envisages free sharing of information, he said, adding that after developing a drug for TB in the first phase, development of drugs for other tropical diseases, including malaria would be taken up.

''Under this model, various steps of development of a drug are broken into smaller parts so that scientists, researchers and even students can work in tandem and contribute their mite to development of a new drug,'' he said, adding that the duration of drug development could be reduced to four to five years as against 10 to 12 years taken for closed-door drug discovery.

Monetary rewards would be given to students for their contributions, he added.

After the development of a drug, the formulation and the process of drug development would be in the public domain, accessible to each and everyone but patent would not be allowed. On an average, of over 10,000 compounds, only five enter clinical trials and just one culminates in discovery, he said.

Scientists attached to CSIR Institutes like the Institute of Genomic and Integrative Biology, New Delhi, Central Drug Research Institute, Lucknow, Genetic Research Centre, Mumbai were involved in the programme besides foreign institutions such as the Royal Society of UK and the Imperial College of London, he added.

UNI SM ROY RJ BST1401

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