To find new drugs to treat ‘mycetoma’, a consortium including the Drugs for Neglected Disease initiative has launched a groundbreaking open source drug discovery project. The MycetOS (Mycetoma Open Source) project was launched by the University of Sydney, Erasmus MC, and the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi).
The group informed, “Mycetoma is a devastating disease for which current treatments are ineffective, expensive, and toxic.” The MycetOS aims to usean Open Pharma approach to discover compounds that could lead to new treatments for patients suffering from fungal mycetoma (eumycetoma), a devastating disease for which current treatments are ineffective, expensive, and toxic.
According to the paper talking about the “Open Pharma” drug development concept, “There are many potential advantages of an open source approach, such as improved efficiency, the quality and relevance of the research, and wider participation by the scientific and patient communities; a blend of traditional and innovative financing mechanisms will have to be adopted.”
MycetOS will progress drug discovery efforts through community-driven, in-kind scientific contributions and a robust, fully transparent online presence. All ideas and results will be published immediately in real time to an open-access database. The MycetOS community will use a dedicated subreddit forum for transparent interactive discussion, and use github for sharing data and key project files.
As a first step in the project, the global scientific community is invited to review the manuscript, “Analogues of fenarimols as novel drug candidates for mycetoma”, which has been recently submitted with full dataset to bioRxiv, an open access biology preprint server, for review and comment by interested scientists. The manuscript shares the results of early work to screen 800 diverse, drug-like molecules for active compounds against the causative pathogen of eumycetoma, which yielded several promising new hits. These results and the associated data form the starting point for the MycetOS community, which will communicate on Twitter (@MycetOS).
The collaboration further invites people interested to identify how they might contribute and participate as an equal partner in this search for a new treatment for this most neglected of tropical diseases.