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In facing the dire challenges posed by the outbreak of the novel coronavirus/nCoV, scientists at the Global Health Drug Discovery Institute (GHDDI) and School of Pharmaceutical Sciences (SPS), Tsinghua University have been working round the clock during the Chinese New Year holiday to research new drug candidates for nCoV.
“The fast development of nCoV outbreak is of a great concern to every one of us. As drug discovery researchers with deep expertise and cutting-edge resources, and as a not-for-profit organization engaged in global health drug discovery, we feel obligated to mobilize our best capabilities and resources both internally and externally to address this public health challenge,” said Prof. Sheng Ding, Institute Director of GHDDI and Dean of Tsinghua SPS. “It takes time and enormous effort and investment to develop an effective (new) drug. New drug or cure does not come overnight. However, we are a group of impatient optimists. With the support from the Beijing Municipal Government, Tsinghua University, and the Gates Foundation we are spearheading drug research and development for this novel coronavirus, doing our best to contribute to the treatment of this disease, for now and in the future.”
GHDDI and Tsinghua SPS have jointly launched a series of internal projects on understanding and developing new drug candidates for the 2019-nCoV, leveraging our strengths in fundamental research, translational science and drug discovery, respectively. Meanwhile, we are providing all researchers who are engaged and aiming at developing new treatment of nCoV at no cost to our drug discovery capabilities and resources. We hope this initiative will accelerate the process of drug discovery for this deadly viral disease. The initial effort includes the following (continuous updates on data, resources, and projects will be found on our website):
1) GHDDI will make its high throughput screening platform and multiple compound libraries available to all researchers for target-based or phenotypic based screens. These compound libraries include the ReFRAME compound library (the world’s largest collection of its kind, containing over 12,000 known drugs been through Phase I clinical studies), a diversity-based synthetic compound library, a natural product library, and a traditional Chinese medicine extract library etc.
2) GHDDI will make its high-end computational chemistry and virtual screening platform available to all researchers. Using the most advanced algorithms and method, researchers can choose to model/dock existing compound libraries (such as the ReFRAME library) and/or tens of millions of virtual compounds using target structures by high-resolution crystallography or through homology modeling.
3) GHDDI will make its AI drug discovery and big data platform available to all researchers. The open-access integrated datasets include various data from previous drug discovery efforts against SARS and MERS, and other related viruses. Also, it will provide data on drug repurposing predication against this new coronavirus. Furthermore, the online portal will continue to provide all relevant information to the scientific community as well as the public about latest scientific studies on the new coronavirus.
4) GHDDI will collaborate with CROs (with deep gratitude to the commitment and contribution made by BioDuro) to offer services ranging from small-molecule chemical synthesis, drug design, medicinal chemistry, DMPK, to target protein generation/biophysics/structural biology etc.
5) GHDDI will provide consultation on disease biology, pharmaceutical sciences and drug discovery.
GHDDI has established several first-class research platforms in the areas of medicinal chemistry, lead generation/high-throughput screening, CADD and AI-based drug discovery, structural biology, DMPK and animal facility. With over ten research projects in pipeline, targeting major global health diseases such as tuberculosis, malaria and other parasitic infections, EED, and hepatitis B, the institute has accumulated rich experiences in infectious diseases. We hope to share our expertise and resources and collaborate with partners who have relevant disease biology or complementary drug discovery and development expertise with an interest toward finding new treatment for the novel coronavirus. In addition, GHDDI has extensive partnerships with over 20 research institutions, pharmaceutical companies and disease alliances in China and worldwide.
We are confident that, with concerted efforts by all stakeholders, we will conquer this novel coronavirus!
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