Open Source Project Looks for Better TB Treatments

by Ostatic Staff - Jun. 08, 2010

We've written before about pharmaceutical companies using open source principles to further drug research. Now that same approach is being used to map the biological and genetic information contained in the deadly genes responsible for tuberculosis (TB).

India's Open Source Drug Discovery (OSDD) collective is the driving force behind the Connect 2 Decode project that aims to pool research data and create a central repository accessible by anyone organization in the world that's doing TB research of its own. More than 1.7 million people die from tuberculosis each year, and the virus is growing increasingly resistant to existing drugs. The gene research will hopefully lead to better medicines and vaccines that haven't been improved since they were first developed in the 1960's.

According to Citizen News Service, "conventional market-based patent incentives are ineffective in addressing public health needs in developing countries with only 1% of newly developed drugs targeting neglected diseases." As a result, it's up to organizations like OSDD to come up with a plan to develop research and medicines on their own.

"Under the C2D project, researchers and students pooled their time and skills using online tools to provide insights into 4000 genes of the deadly pathogen. The researchers also mapped the genes as they relate to functional interactions and pathways. Their work is held in a shared database, which OSDD will share through a globally accessible database to any research institutions involved in TB research through its open portal ("

Image by takomabibelot.