NIAID awards grant for software focused on TB drug discovery

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases has awarded a grant to support the first year of development for a software platform focused on tuberculosis drug discovery efforts.

NIAID, part of the National Institutes of Health, has awarded a Phase I Small Business Technology Transfer Research grant to SRI, a nonprofit research and development organization, and CDD, a provider of web-based drug discovery software platforms, in order to develop a TB information repository that can be used to identify novel therapeutics, according to

"Using computational methods, we now have the opportunity to directly impact infectious disease research and drug development by centralizing data and enabling greater research collaboration through information sharing," Carolyn Talcott, the program manager of the Information & Computer Science Division at SRI International, said, according to

The repository will be utilized with inference and analysis tools that are intended to facilitate TB drug development efforts through a combination of diverse databases, cheminformatics and pathway-based analysis. Cheminformatics is a computational tool used to predict chemical properties. Pathway analysis uses computational methods to understand biological processes, such as metabolism.

"The societal impact of this work will be the ability to mine the deposited data, search for new potential targets and lead molecules, and bring the data and researchers to a single centralized location," Barry Bunin, the president and CEO of CDD, said, according to "This project builds upon on our work in TB and represents a way of bringing the generally separate biology and chemistry information together, an approach that could be expanded to other diseases."

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