Open Source drug Discovery programme // Drug Repurposing

Open Source drug Discovery programme

How Open Source Drug Discovery Is Helping India Develop New DrugsLeft to fend for itself, India is now finally developing new drugs on its own

Image: Mallikarjun Katakol for Forbes India

OPTMISTIC T Balganesh, the chief of the OSDD drug development unit, is looking for a big shift in the drug discovery process


rowdsourcing can boast of many success stories today, but in 2008, when the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) launched such an effort for drug discovery, there weren’t many. Four years on, its Open Source Drug Discovery (OSDD) network is emerging as a cyber platform to garner resources for developing drugs that pharmaceutical companies don’t find attractive enough.

On World TB Day on March 24, when OSDD and the Global Alliance on TB (GATB) in New York announced that a new TB molecule will undergo Phase IIb trial in India, even as it is being tested in Brazil and Africa, it was a sign of serious commitment from CSIR. If the molecule shows promise, it can advance into further studies and be included in treatment more quickly. India detects 1.7 million new cases of TB every year.

“Realistically speaking, open innovation is the future of drug development, ” says Samir Brahmachari, director general, CSIR. He got OSDD off the ground with a seed fund of Rs 50 crore in September 2008 and has sought Rs 1, 700 crore in the 12th Plan. “I am sure even with the revised economic growth rate, we’ll get Rs 800-1, 000 crore, ” he says.

mg_64766_indigenous_cure_280x210.jpgHopefully, the funds will arrive soon. CSIR is yet to spend its seed money since substantial free help poured in during the initial phase, including assistance from Infosys to build the portal. But it’s the human capital that Brahmachari and the heads of six business units of OSDD are more preoccupied with. There’s limited drug development expertise in the industry, let alone research institutions. In December 2011, in one of the five newly created posts, CSIR appointed T Balganesh, former head of R&D and managing director of AstraZeneca India, as the chief of the OSDD drug development unit.

Now the programme is set to steamroll. With the GATB molecule, there will be immense learning for India in the next 12-16 months, says Balganesh. Having spent 25 years in AstraZeneca, he knows how drugs are developed, but more importantly, he has seen first-hand how the big pharma model of drug discovery has been falling apart. He says he is convinced that if India has to have drugs for neglected diseases, it has to develop them on its own. China has moved on similar lines, investing over $500 million in domestic programmes.

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I don't know for DSM-IV

by gelg

Though the info wouldn't be hard to find.
A quick google brought forth examples of what Pharma's thinking about DSM-V. Here are snippets from an article in the Journal for Clinical Studies:
"[In DSM-V] the concept of “catatonia” is likely to be removed from the new schizophrenia criteria, and may become a diagnostic class within psychosis, or a specifier to psychosis or mood disorders. Reclassifying catatonia outside schizophrenia could potentially open the way for novel drugs, as the optimal treatment for catatonia is likely to differ from the standard treatment for schizophrenia

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