OSDD Malaria Portfolio

The programme will employ different approaches for drug discovery. These will be organized into projects under the following work packages: 

(A) Target Identification and Validation

(Identify parasite metabolic pathways, proteins or metabolites that can be targeted by candidate drugs)

Bioinformatics: Mining of public domain information to collect, curate, annotate and archive information on druggable or potentially druggable targets in Plasmodium species.

Biochemistry: Establishment and validation of microplate assays of target binding and functional inhibition.

Target validation: Demonstration of parasite inhibition in culture or in vivo upon target-candidate interaction. Genetic and/or chemical validation of target.

(B) Filtering HTS Data

(Critically assess data emerging from high-throughput screening to select promising leads for chemical modification and development)

Cheminformatics: Access public-domain databases as well as OSDDm database to devise algorithms, knowledge-based and intuitive approaches towards identifying scaffolds with a potential for development as drug candidates.

Bioinformatics: Virtual interaction of identified ligands with targets.

(C) Anti-malarial screening

(Set up, validate and carry out assays to evaluate efficacy and performance of compounds submitted by participants)

Submission: Participants submit candidate compounds for screening to OSDDm Screening Centers.

Screening: Screen compounds against 'go' and 'no-go' criteria. Establish Standard Operating Procedures and implement harmonized protocols at OSDDm Screening Centers.

Discovery Pipeline: Make results available on-line for peer-review and democratic decisions on establishing the drug discovery pipeline.

(D) Traditional Medicine Sources

(Tap knowledge of Ethnobotany, Ethnopharmacology, Ancient and Traditional Systems of Medicine)

Mining Data: Searching and collating information from databases; Compiling and collating information from practitioners of traditional medicine.

Student Activity: Collection, identification, archiving, preparation of extracts by graduate students and high-throughput screening at OSDDm funded laboratories.

(E) Drug Development

(Develop identified leads as candidate drugs for human use)

(F) Proof of concept investigations in challenging areas 

(Address challenging issues in malaria discovery biology. OSDDm will solicit high-risk projects. It is envisaged that investigators from fields other than malaria biology will also form part of these collaborative projects)