18 April 2007
A new web-based resource intended to facilitate the development of novel drugs for the treatment of infectious diseases has been launched; the Drug Target Prioritization Database is freely available to researchers from both developed and developing countries. The Drug Target Prioritization Network, an international consortium of researchers established by the World Health Organisation (WHO), is focused on the discovery of novel drugs for the treatment of major global infectious diseases, such as malaria, TB and leishmaniasis, which are prevalent in developing countries that typically lack the resources for large-scale research of this kind.
The new database provides genomic and bioinformatic data for each designated ‘priority’ pathogen, along with curated and annotated information from research literature and other relevant databases, the better to allow users to identify potential targets for drugs directed against the pathogenic organism. It also expected to be useful for the design of novel vaccines and diagnostic tools (see press release). The international research community is encouraged by the Drug Target Prioritization Network to take advantage of and contribute to the new resource.