The Pathogen Box

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Catalysing neglected disease drug discovery

MMV launches the Pathogen Box

400 compounds made available for free to boost neglected disease drug research

14 December 2015

MMV is proud to launch another initiative that will stimulate the discovery of drugs for neglected diseases. The Pathogen Box containing 400 diverse drug-like molecules follows in the footsteps of MMV’s open access Malaria Box and is now available for free on request. Each of the compounds has confirmed activity against at least one of the key pathogens that cause some of the most neglected diseases on the planet. The complete set of compounds is ready for dispatch to laboratories around the world to boost drug discovery.  

The 400 compounds were hand-picked by experts to provide those with the most promise for drug discovery programmes for neglected diseases such as onchocerciasis, Chagas disease and visceral leishmaniasis, as well as malaria and tuberculosis.

MMV’s experienced medicinal chemists analyzed and triaged active compounds from the European Bioinformatics Institute’s open access database. Meanwhile, partners with expertise in other disease areas were invited to share their insight, molecules and screening platforms. The resulting compound set was reviewed by a Scientific Selection Committee composed of leading figures in medicinal chemistry. MMV then procured fresh solid samples of each compound and thanks to the generous contribution of screening resources by many partners coordinated the confirmation of their biological activity.

“One of the rate-limiting factors in neglected disease drug discovery is biologists being able to get hold of physical compounds to test in their assays,” said Dr Timothy Wells CSO of MMV. “The Malaria Box overcame this and succeeded in catalysing new discovery projects. Now, with the Pathogen Box we aim to amplify this impact by providing compounds with demonstrated cellular activity across a broader range of diseases. It will also help kindle research in disease-endemic countries, which is particularly exciting.”

The Pathogen Box can be requested free of charge online. All that is asked in return is that any data gleaned from research on the compounds is published, shared and placed into the public domain to help spur further neglected disease drug research. Scientists are encouraged to discuss results from screening Pathogen Box molecules with the Pathogen Box team, who may be able to offer additional scientific support to help further progress interesting hits. 

Contact the Pathogen Box team if you have any questions.