Friday, October 28, 2011

Open Source Drug Discovery: Potential drug molecules identified for drug resistant tuberculosis

By Syed Akbar
Hyderabad: A team of researchers involved in the Open Source
Drug Discovery has identified a little over half a dozen molecules
that could fight multi drug resistant tuberculosis.

Tuberculosis has now emerged as a major health challenge in the
country with the causative agent, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, turning
resistant to drugs developed in the last five decades. TB is one of
the major neglected diseases and hundreds of researchers across the
country are involved in finding newer and cheaper drugs through the
Open Source.

According to Dr Rashmi, one of the researchers involved in the
project, at least eight to 10 molecules from the database of the
National Cancer Institute have the potential to fight the TB
bacterium. The computer models of these molecules showed they have the
potential to inhibit a key enzyme that gives protection to the
pathogen. Once this enzyme is inhibited, the bacterium can be tackled
easily, thus finding a cure to this major health nuisance.

"These molecules are identified after studying certain docked
complexes. They now need to be tested experimentally for activity,"
she added.

Fighting TB is a difficult task as the bacterium has a unique make-up
that offers it protection from the body defence system of the host.
Many people carry the disease without any clinical manifestations for
years, but as the immune system becomes weak the disease comes into
the open.

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