Navigation Links
Finding Cures For Tropical Diseases: Is Open Source An Answer?

There's a paradigm in life science and drug development : only "lucrative" "markets" get exploited by R&D companies. In many occasions I've seen very promising drugs candidates or related research get canned because no money was to be made with it, even if millions would have been saved worldwide. The usual strategy to avoid this fate is to find a drug candidate that affect a "profitable" disease in addition to the "non-profitable" one. PLoS Medecine has an article about a possible solution titled "Finding Cures for Tropical Diseases: Is Open Source an Answer?" The whole article is a very good read; a summary from ScienceDaily is available in the full post.

Only about 1% of newly developed drugs are for tropical diseases, such as African sleeping sickness and dengue fever. While patent incentives have driven commercial pharmaceutical companies to make Western health care the envy of the world, the commercial model only works if companies can sell enough patented products to cover their R&D costs and produce profits for shareholders. The model thus fails in the developing world, where few patients can afford to pay patented prices for drugs. The solution to this devastating problem, say Stephen Maurer, Arti Rai, and Andrej Sali in the premier open-access medical journal PLoS Medicine, is to adopt an "open source" approach to discovering new drugs for neglected diseases. They call their approach the Tropical Diseases Initiative (www.tropicaldisease.org), or TDI. "We envisage TDI as a decentralized, Web-based, community-wide effort where scientists from laboratories, universities, institutes, and corporations can work together for a common cause." What would open-source drug discovery look like? "As with current software colla borations, we propose a website where volunteers could search and annotate shared databases. Individual pages would host tasks such as searching for new targets, finding chemicals to attack known targets, and posting data from related chemistry and biology experiments. Volunteers could use chat rooms and bulletin boards to announce discoveries and debate future research directions. Over time, the most dedicated and proficient volunteers would become leaders." The key to TDI's success, they argue, is that any discovery would be off patent. An open-source license would keep all discoveries freely available to researchers and--eventually--manufacturers. The absence of patents, and the use of volunteer staff, would contain the costs of drug development. Ten years ago, say the authors, TDI would not have been feasible. "The difference today is the vastly greater size and variety of chemical, biological, and medical databases; new software; and more powerful computers. Researchers can now identify promising protein targets and small sets of chemicals using computation alone."
'"/>

Source:Science Daily, PLoS Medecine


Related biology news :

1. Fundamental Finding Yields Insight into Stem Cells, Cancer; Opens Door to Drug Discovery
2. Findings have implications for tracking disease, drugs at the molecular level
3. Finding hidden invaders in a Hawaiian rain forest
4. New Finding May Aid Adult Stem Cell Collection
5. Finding rewrites the evolutionary history of the origin of potatoes
6. Finding the minds eye
7. Findings advance use of adult stem cells for replacement bone
8. Finding a virus is not all bad news
9. Finding a better way to make biodiesel
10. Finding paves way for better treatment of autoimmune disease
11. Finding the right mix: A biomaterial blend library

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:6/30/2017)... Today, American Trucking Associations announced Seeing ... and eye tracking software, became the newest member ... "Artificial intelligence and advanced sensing algorithms ... driver,s attentiveness levels while on the road.  Drivers ... fatigue and prevent potential accidents, which could lead ...
(Date:5/23/2017)... , May 23, 2017  Hunova, the first robotic gym for the ... been officially launched in Genoa, Italy . The first ... and the USA . The technology was developed ... market by the IIT spin-off Movendo Technology thanks to a 10 million ... News Release, please click: ...
(Date:5/6/2017)... , May 5, 2017 RAM ... announced a new breakthrough in biometric authentication based ... quantum mechanical properties to perform biometric authentication. These new ... semiconductor material created by Ram Group and its ... entertainment, transportation, supply chains and security. Ram Group ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:8/11/2017)... 11, 2017  Market researcher Kalorama Information ... article regarding the telemedicine market.  The telemedicine ... Information.  The article, "Heart and Asthma ...  used information from Kalorama Information,s Remote Patient ... Market  (Sleep, Diabetes, Vital Signs /EKG ...
(Date:8/11/2017)... ... ... Algenist continues to disrupt the skincare industry with today’s debut of GENIUS Liquid ... the key structural element skin needs to maintain its youthful appearance and Algenist is ... First to market with proprietary collagen water active , Active ...
(Date:8/10/2017)... ... August 09, 2017 , ... As a full-service marketing ... ideal customers with the right message. Their effective, cutting-edge inbound marketing strategies are ... realize how crucial the agriculture industry is,” said David Phelps, chief marketing officer ...
(Date:8/10/2017)... ... August 09, 2017 , ... ... in the clinic is here. The team at Capricor Therapeutics, Inc. utilized a ... for clinical studies. , Dr. Travis Antes, head of analytical development at ...
Breaking Biology Technology: