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Collaborative Drug Discovery, Inc. Receives Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Grant to Support the Development of a Database to Accelerate Discovery of New Therapies Against Tuberculosis


11/19/2008 7:54:44 AM

BURLINGAME, Calif., Nov. 18 /PRNewswire/ -- Collaborative Drug Discovery, Inc. (CDD) today announced that it has received a grant for $1,896,923 from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to develop a collaborative database that will enable scientists to archive, mine, and selectively collaborate around their research data to discover new cures for tuberculosis (TB). The TB bacillus infects approximately one third of the world's population and the disease kills over 1.5 million people every year. The CDD TB database will integrate the efforts of academic, other non-profit, and corporate laboratories distributed across the globe and accelerate the discovery of new therapies against this deadly disease.

CDD also announced that it has hired Sean Ekins, PhD, as Director of Collaborations for the project. "The neglected disease research community needs new ways to integrate disjointed drug discovery efforts so that dispersed labs can form efficient virtual pharmaceutical organizations," said Dr. Ekins. "This project will spark collaborative efforts to discover more effective drugs against TB that are less expensive and easier to administer."

"This grant promotes our goal of developing more effective medicines for those in developing countries who need them most," said Ken Duncan, Senior Program Officer at the Gates Foundation. "CDD's technology will help the entire TB research community to collaborate more easily. We hope it will speed the scientific breakthroughs urgently needed to make effective therapies more accessible to the world's poorest people, and confront the challenges of multidrug- and extensively drug-resistant TB strains."

The two-year project will initially involve eight academic research groups and later expand to include other participants. "CDD has already established its software platform as an indispensable tool for many scientists studying neglected infectious diseases including TB," said Professor Carl Nathan, MD, Chairman, Department of Microbiology and Immunology at Weill Medical College of Cornell University. "This grant from the Gates Foundation will encourage many more researchers to participate in the CDD community."

"We are thrilled that the Gates Foundation is supporting this project," said Barry Bunin, PhD, CEO & President of CDD. "Early on, CDD decided to focus on supporting humanitarian as well as commercial drug discovery. This grant validates that decision and provides a model for CDD to work with industry and other foundations targeting additional specific diseases."

CDD is currently working with the Myelin Repair Foundation (MRF), which has pioneered a research paradigm that organizes diverse academic groups into highly-structured collaborations with a sharp focus on outcomes. "We are delighted to see more organizations and researchers endorse the emerging collaborative model for drug discovery," said Scott Johnson, President and Founder of the Myelin Repair Foundation (MRF). The MRF and CDD recently partnered to customize CDD's tools as part of a proof-of concept program to organize data from the MRF's highly-structured myelin repair scientific collaboration.

About Collaborative Drug Discovery, Inc.

Collaborative Drug Discovery, Inc. (CDD) provides web-based software that organizes preclinical research data to help scientists advance new drug candidates more effectively. The CDD database enables scientists to "archive, mine, and collaborate"(R) around preclinical chemical and biological drug discovery data through a web-based interface. The software helps distributed research groups to safely store and intelligently analyze small molecule, enzyme, cell and animal bioactivity data accumulated from both low-throughput and high-throughput screens. Scientists can choose which datasets to keep completely private and which datasets, if any, to share securely with selected colleagues. Unique collaboration features and CDD's community-oriented approach help unite globally dispersed humanitarian efforts against neglected infectious diseases. Similar collaborative strategies are also rapidly gaining prominence in the commercial arena. CDD offers its industrial-strength database software at a price affordable to academic laboratories, research foundations, and small companies. For more information, visit http://www.collaborativedrug.com.

CONTACT: Barry Bunin, Ph.D., President & CEO of Collaborative Drug
Discovery (CDD), Inc., +1-650-204-3084, info@collaborativedrug.com

Web site: http://www.collaborativedrug.com/



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