Scientists map TB genome using Open Source Model soon to be available

From: The Times of India
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/home/science/Scientists-map-TB-genome...


"The TB gene map, developed under the Open Source Drug Discovery (OSDD) initiative of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) will be available in the public domain for drug makers."


"This marks the beginning of the efforts of C2D to align R&D with public health and to use the full potential of the open source model for the development of medical technologies and drug discovery for neglected diseases," Samir Brahmachari, Director General, CSIR said.


Scientists map TB genome
PTI, Apr 11, 2010, 04.00pm IST

NEW DELHI: Scientists from across India today announced the first-ever detail mapping of mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB), the bug responsible for spread of the disease that kills 1.7 million people every year globally.

Hundreds of scientists from across the country put in joint efforts at a three-day 'Connect 2 Decode' (C2D) conference to complete the final re-annotation of the 4,000- odd genes that determine how the TB bug lives and infects humans.

The TB gene map, developed under the Open Source Drug Discovery (OSDD) initiative of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) will be available in the public domain for drug makers.

"This marks the beginning of the efforts of C2D to align R&D with public health and to use the full potential of the open source model for the development of medical technologies and drug discovery for neglected diseases," Samir Brahmachari, Director General, CSIR said.

C2D's findings may contain critical data to unlock previously undiscovered details of tuberculosis resulting in development opportunities for urgently needed new drugs in India and other developing countries, he said.

The gene map is similar to a Google map or a Wikipedia article that can be modified and updated as new information emerges on the features of the genome.

The MTB map has been hosted on a web portal (www.osdd.net) custom-developed by Infosys and uses an emerging format (Web 3.0) that allows users to get better search results while searching for data.

Though the MTB gene was sequenced more than a decade back, no more than 1,000 of the near 4,000 genes have been annotated, he said adding, the OSDD participants have taken up the challenge of annotating all possible genes in MTB with interoperable community standards.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), 1.7 million people die annually from TB and in some areas of the world, one in four people can no longer be treated with standard drugs regimens.

"Despite this public health emergency, TB research funding remains alarmingly inadequate, particularly for research into new drugs," Brahmachari said.

"We need to have a balanced view between health as a right and health as a business. It is because there has been imbalance in this view, that diseases like TB with high mortality but low profitability are neglected by the current system of pharmaceutical research," he said.