The Pandemic Response Box: Countering the spread of existing and emerging diseases
The spread of untreatable disease due to antimicrobial resistance is becoming an increasingly real and serious threat to global health. Research into new therapies can help counter this threat and save lives. The Pandemic Response Box contains potential drug leads for diseases such as Ebola, Zika, and others that could become future health emergencies.
Learn more about the Pandemic Response Box in the image slideshow below. Request the box
Since the beginning of the 21st century, the world has battled multiple epidemics, old and new, caused by various pathogens, including viruses and bacteria.1 Some have reached pandemic proportions, spreading exponentially across borders. Drug resistance has further increased the frequency and gravity of these disease outbreaks.
Experts estimate that the number of deaths associated with antimicrobial resistance will increase to 10 million a year by 2050.2 Use of the Pandemic Response Box could help combat this scenario by contributing to a deeper understanding of disease pathogenesis and research into new and effective therapies.
The Pandemic Response Box may be used, not only for screening against pathogens to identify new starting points for drug discovery programmes, yet also as a chemical biology tool to interrupt key pathways and advance our understanding of the biology of those pathogens.
Each of the 400 compounds are active against viruses, bacteria or fungi, and may be used to probe the function of a target to understand its underlying mechanism. Once the mechanism is unraveled for one pathogen, it could potentially be attributed to others, thus contributing to the definition of new therapeutic targets and advancing knowledge.
The box is part of a wider open-source initiative in which data gathered from compounds made freely available are published in the public domain, helping to accelerate research as well as reduce costs and duplication of efforts.
Compounds already known to be active against certain pathogens could be repurposed if activity is discovered against other pathogens, reducing drug development timelines even further. For some compounds, preexisting absorption, distribution and metabolism (ADMET) data are available which could accelerate progression of compounds for treatment against emerging diseases.
The use of open and collaborative initiatives such as the Pandemic Response Box could help propel the global health community towards reaching its goal of health for all by 2030.
Cover slide -DK Lee/DNDi; Slide 1 - www.scientificanimations.com (licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0); Slide 2 - Anna Wang/MMV; Slide 3 - BMC St Jude; Slide 4 - BernbaumJG (licensed under CC BY); Slide 5 - Ryan Choi, University of Washington; Slide 6 - Felipe Esquivel Reed (licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0) Slide 7 - Toby Madden/MMV; Slide 8 - DK Lee/DNDi