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The Pathogen Box: A Catalyst for Neglected Disease Drug Discovery

The Pathogen Box: A Catalyst for Neglected Disease Drug Discovery content piece image
Background: Modelled after the Malaria Box, the Pathogen Box contains ~400 diverse drug-like molecules active against neglected diseases of interest such as Chagas disease, cryptosporidiosis, hookworm, sleeping sickness, leishmaniasis, lymphatic filariasis, malaria, onchocerciasis, schistosomiasis, trichuriasis, tuberculosis.

Material/methods: To select the compounds for the Pathogen Box project, the European Bioinformatics Institute’s open access database (ChEMBL17) was analysed and triaged to identify active chemotypes against the diseases of interest. In parallel, partners from many disease areas were approached to share their expertise and contribute quality hit molecules. This effort led to an initial list of 819 diverse chemotypes. In June 2014, a scientific selection committee composed of leading figures in Medicinal Chemistry reviewed the initial set of compounds to select 635 chemotypes termed as the “Beta set”. In addition to the Beta set, 143 additional compounds have been nominated from academic and pharma partners.

Results: 924 of these compounds have been procured or synthesized. All these compounds have been screened to confirm their biological activity before a final selection round to select the ~400 compounds that constitute the Pathogen Box. Unpublished data summarizing DMPK data and antimalarial hits from the Exploiting the Pathogen Box project will be presented at this congress.

Conclusions: Upon request at www.pathogenbox.org, researchers around the world will receive a copy of the Pathogen Box free of charge. In return, they are just asked to share any data generated in the public domain within 2 years, creating an open and collaborative forum to catalyse neglected disease drug discovery.