Antibiotic resistance is one of the biggest problems facing modern medicine today. Some bacteria are naturally immune to the drugs that are thrown at them, while others lose sensitivity to their effects.
To help combat this problem, a crowdsourcing project is inviting chemists from all over the world to donate samples of compounds they have synthesized.
The Community for Open Antimicrobial Drug Discovery (CO-ADD) was set up by scientists at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia to screen such compounds for antimicrobial activity.
Thousands of new compounds are generated by scientists every day, but many are never investigated as drug candidates. Now, CO-ADD will do it for free.
Fighting the Superbug Crisis
The project has been running since February and pulls no punches about the dangers of antibiotic resistance. On its website it says:
“This [antibiotic resistance] has placed us dangerously close to a return to the pre-antibiotic era, when even simple infections caused death.”
All that donating scientists have to do is post their compounds and the crowdsourcing project will do the rest. It will screen them against a number of susceptible and drug-resistant bacterial and fungal pathogens.
Donating scientists and institutions will retain ownership of the compounds and will be free to commercialize and file patents based on the test results.
The screening results are kept private, but CO-ADD requests that institutions publish chemical structures and screening data in an open access database, 18 months after they have received the results.
For more information about how the crowd is bringing the fight to antibiotic resistance microbes, click here.