Collaborative Drug Discovery Inc, Burlingame, Calif, received a grant for $1,896,923 from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to develop a collaborative database that will enable scientists to archive, mine, and selectively collaborate around their research data to discover new cures for tuberculosis (TB).

The CDD TB database will be used to integrate the efforts of academic, non-profit, and corporate laboratories distributed across the globe, in hopes of accelerating the discovery of new therapies against TB.

Sean Ekins PhD, has been hired by CDD as director of collaborations for the project.

“The neglected disease research community needs new ways to integrate disjointed drug discovery efforts so that dispersed labs can form efficient virtual pharmaceutical organizations,” says Ekins. “This project will spark collaborative efforts to discover more effective drugs against TB that are less expensive and easier to administer.”

“This grant promotes our goal of developing more effective medicines for those in developing countries who need them most,” says Ken Duncan, senior program officer at the Gates Foundation. “CDD’s technology will help the entire TB research community to collaborate more easily. We hope it will speed the scientific breakthroughs urgently needed to make effective therapies more accessible to the world’s poorest people, and confront the challenges of multidrug- and extensively drug-resistant TB strains.”

The 2-year project will initially involve eight academic research groups and later expand to include other participants.