The Seattle Biomedical research institute receives support from the Tres Cantos Open Lab Foundation to identify selective inhibitors of Mycobacterial Dihydrofolate Reductase

The Tres Cantos Open Lab Foundation announced today the funding of a seven-month project with the Seattle Biomedical Institute to work on identification of anti-folates with activity against Mycobacterium tuberculosis. The project will be initiated with in silico screening of GSK chemical library in search of dihydrofolate reductase inhibitors with known activity in other pathogens such as Plasmodium. The results from GSK’s anti-mycobacterial HTS campaigns will also help to identify selective inhibitors against the mycobacterial enzyme.

Other experiments will address target specificity and action selectivity on the pathogen enzyme. In a second phase the hits identified will be profiled for anti-mycobacterial activity and standard ADME properties.

The funds provided by the Tres Cantos Open Lab Foundation will support a visiting researcher to come to GSK’s R&D centre in Tres Cantos (Spain) to pursue this project as part of an integrated drug discovery team. Medicinal chemistry and drug discovery expertise at GSK will be paramount for the progress of this project.

We will try to apply all the knowledge of the anti-folate drugs to discover new anti-tubercular leads. We bring our basic knowledge of the Mtb enzyme structure and mechanism of action to select the right compounds out of GSK’s chemical library” said Dr David Sherman, Principal Investigator at Seattle Biomedical Institute.

The open lab will provide unique access to expertise and facilities to help progress this research forward. We need new drug classes to fight TB and this project could make progress in discovering one of these drugs”, said Professor Sir Leszek Borysiewicz, Trustee and Chair of the Governing Board, Tres Cantos Open Lab Foundation (currently Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cambridge, previously Chief Executive of the Medical Research Council).

About the Tres Cantos Open Lab Foundation

The Tres Cantos Open Lab Foundation is focused on providing funding and support for scientists, academics and institutions to develop and advance new ideas that could lead to new medicines to treat diseases of the developing world. Researchers are invited to submit projects for collaboration and funding, to be reviewed by the Foundation’s Governing Board and Trustees.

About the Seattle Biomedical Research Institute

Seattle BioMed is the largest independent, non-profit organization in the US focused solely on infectious disease research. Our research is the foundation for new drugs, vaccines and diagnostics that benefit those who need our help most: the 14 million who will otherwise die each year from infectious diseases, including malaria, HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis. Founded in 1976, Seattle BioMed has nearly 350 staff members. By partnering with key collaborators around the globe, we strive to make discoveries that will save lives sooner.