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Update: The Lilly TB Drug Discovery Initiative Begins Work on New Compounds to Fill Early-Stage TB Drug Pipeline
Date:10/7/2008

ogether microbiologists, molecular biologists, synthetic chemists, medicinal chemists, pharmacologists, toxicologists, and process chemists to expedite the testing and optimizing of early-stage compounds to fill the pipeline for drug development.

"This Initiative is founded on the belief that people from different corners of the pharmaceutical and healthcare world will put aside differences and come together when confronted with a global threat," said Dr. Gail Cassell, Lilly's vice president of scientific affairs and distinguished research scholar. "Our collaboration around these two compounds proves that this belief is true. We are encouraged by the response and inspired by the commitment of our colleagues."

Over the past year, The Lilly TB Drug Discovery Initiative has organized operations and labs and identified compounds for the first round of work. Within the next few months, it plans to begin high-throughput screening of new, validated targets against well-characterized chemical libraries.

In addition to screening activities, the Initiative will study the potential of the newly acquired compounds from MCRF and Summit plc:

-- MCRF has discovered CPZEN-45, an early stage clinical candidate which may have a new mechanism of action against TB, and also shows efficacy against multidrug-resistant and extensively drug resistant TB infected mice without any detectable side effect so far examined.

-- Summit plc's compounds also show significant potential as a new class of antibiotics for treatment of TB and will be further explored by the Initiative.

Organizations co-developing compounds with the Initiative or contributing research tools will have the opportunity to request access to NIH-sponsored resources and receive valuable data to assist the Initiative's research process.

More than 1.5 million people die each year from TB, most of them in low income countries. However, TB is spreading globally and evolving rapidly i
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