World TB Day 2015 – An Open Source Drug Candidate

In recognition of it being World TB day today, and to promote the development of urgently needed new medicines for this terrible disease I’d like to point people to a project they can be involved in from today. We very recently started Open Source TB – a project that will be similar in design to Open Source Malaria. The idea is that, eventually, anyone can run projects and take part in existing ones. No secrecy, no patents. Inclusive research. It’s early days, so please excuse the boxes and bubble wrap.

The first set of compounds that were looked at were recently published. The second series of compounds is starting with a very nice looking molecule discovered by GlaxoSmithKline at their Tres Cantos site. It has potency against TB and is not toxic to mammalian cells. It’s an interesting compound – we’re not sure what it’s doing, and could use some help with that, starting from recent predictions of the target.

Open Source TB Hit

An Open Source TB hit from GSK – TCMDC143693

We’re still working hard to set up the collaboration platform. Jessica Baiget is a postdoc with me working in Madrid, supervised by Julia Castro-Pichel from GSK. She’s recently resynthesised this compound (here’s the full lab notebook entry – working right now on sharing the whole notebook) so that she can study it further and make some new variations.

This compound needs to be developed more, and any and all data generated will be put into the public domain immediately. We’ll set up more ways we can all work together. If you have a compound series you’d like to install as a new series on the wiki for consideration by the community, please just go ahead – e.g. any “abandoned” series from big pharma, or academic projects needing inputs. For now please check out the Twitter account and follow it for updates. If you’re working in the TB area and want to share ownership of the Twitter account to spread the word about anything open source that is related to TB, please just DM the account so we can be in touch. There’s also a Google+ Community so people can discuss anything.

If you’re a medicinal chemist who would like to make some of these molecules, please get in touch (can use an email account we’ve set up: – the chemistry for TCMDC143693 is *really nice* in fact, thanks to Jessica’s work. If you are a bioinformatics guru and want to help validate the target for the compound, please also get in touch. If you’d like some of these drug candidates for your own biological work, please just say.