Monday, August 19, 2013

Seminar: Open Source Drug and Catalyst Discovery


Open Source Drug and Catalyst Discovery
Dr +Matthew Todd  School of Chemistry, The University of Sydney; @mattoddchem

September 12, 2013 at 10:15 in Aud 5 HCØ, University of Copenhagen

Science today is typically practiced by groups working in isolation, frequently with barriers to the sharing of data that arise from our need to protect intellectual property. Papers frequently do not disclose negative results, and the danger of being “scooped” often arises because we are unaware of what others are doing.

The open source software community works in a very different way, sharing data and ideas freely as part of highly distributed meritocratic projects where anyone can participate. In the last few years we have successfully applied these principles to the practice of experimental organic chemistry.1 We showed that the discovery of a method for the preparation of an important, enantiopure drug was accelerated by the project being completely open.2 We have since started the world’s first open source drug discovery project for the treatment of malaria that has already identified highly promising picomolar leads in whole-cell assays.3 Beyond drug synthesis and discovery, our laboratory has started several projects in basic organic synthetic methodology and catalyst discovery, acting as seeds for the contributions of diverse chemists from academia and industry.4


1 Open Science is a Research Accelerator, M. Woelfle, P. Olliaro and M. H. Todd, Nature Chemistry 2011, 3, 745-748.
2 Resolution of Praziquantel, M. Woelfle, J.-P. Seerden, J. de Gooijer, K. Pouwer, P. Olliaro and M. H. Todd, PLoS Negl. Trop. Dis. 2011, 5(9): e1260.
3 http://opensourcemalaria.org
4 For example http://115.146.85.229/ 

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