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IBM and Medical Researchers Launch Effort To Find Flu Drug Treatments
Date:5/5/2009

Lab tests may begin in just weeks as a result of World Community Grid

GALVESTON, Texas, May 5 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- IBM (NYSE: IBM) and the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) launched an effort using IBM's World Community Grid "virtual supercomputer" to allow laboratory tests on drug candidates for drug-resistant influenza strains and new strains, such as H1N1, in less than a month.

(Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20090416/IBMLOGO )

Researchers at the University of Texas Medical Branch will use World Community Grid to identify the chemical compounds most likely to stop the spread of the influenza viruses and begin testing these under laboratory conditions. The computational work adds up to thousands of years of computer time which will be compressed into just months using World Community Grid. As many as 10% of the drug candidates identified by calculations on World Community Grid are likely to show antiviral activity in the laboratory and move to further testing.

According to the researchers, without access to World Community Grid's virtual super computing power, the search for drug candidates would take a prohibitive amount of time and laboratory testing. Yet, over the next several months and years, researchers say they hope to identify candidates for clinical tests. The University of Texas researchers are currently using the power of World Community Grid on research projects involving dengue fever and West Nile diseases.

"Because of the experience we gained with our dengue drug p
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