Tropical diseases, such as tuberculosis (TB) and malaria, that effect millions of people in third-world countries have not received nearly the same amount of attention from drug companies as so-called new-age diseases such as cancer and diabetes that are more prevalent in the first-world. The reasons for this are straight-forward: the manufacturing interest of pharmaceutical industry is largely driven by the demand and purchasing capacity of the consumer population.
The Open Source Drug Discover (OSDD) is changing this model. OSDD is a project lead by a team in India that through an open and crowd sourced platform is searching for new therapies and treatments to previously neglected but prevalent diseases. The current focus is on TB and Malaria. The project is already producing promising results: several candidates have been identified for TB as ‘hit to lead‘ and OSDD is in discussion with various organizations for the development of clinical and pre-clinical candidates.