Open source drug discovery--a new paradigm of collaborative research in tuberculosis drug development

Tuberculosis (Edinb). 2011 Sep;91(5):479-86. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2011 Jul 22.


It is being realized that the traditional closed-door and market driven approaches for drug discovery may not be the best suited model for the diseases of the developing world such as tuberculosis and malaria, because most patients suffering from these diseases have poor paying capacity. To ensure that new drugs are created for patients suffering from these diseases, it is necessary to formulate an alternate paradigm of drug discovery process. The current model constrained by limitations for collaboration and for sharing of resources with confidentiality hampers the opportunities for bringing expertise from diverse fields. These limitations hinder the possibilities of lowering the cost of drug discovery. The Open Source Drug Discovery project initiated by Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, India has adopted an open source model to power wide participation across geographical borders. Open Source Drug Discovery emphasizes integrative science through collaboration, open-sharing, taking up multi-faceted approaches and accruing benefits from advances on different fronts of new drug discovery. Because the open source model is based on community participation, it has the potential to self-sustain continuous development by generating a storehouse of alternatives towards continued pursuit for new drug discovery. Since the inventions are community generated, the new chemical entities developed by Open Source Drug Discovery will be taken up for clinical trial in a non-exclusive manner by participation of multiple companies with majority funding from Open Source Drug Discovery. This will ensure availability of drugs through a lower cost community driven drug discovery process for diseases afflicting people with poor paying capacity. Hopefully what LINUX the World Wide Web have done for the information technology, Open Source Drug Discovery will do for drug discovery.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antitubercular Agents* / therapeutic use
  • Cooperative Behavior
  • Drug Design
  • Humans
  • Immunologic Factors* / therapeutic use
  • India / epidemiology
  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis / pathogenicity*
  • Research Support as Topic*
  • Tuberculosis / prevention & control*
  • Tuberculosis Vaccines* / economics


  • Antitubercular Agents
  • Immunologic Factors
  • Tuberculosis Vaccines