Watch the replay of Dr. Stan Watowich's webcast where he explains his team’s progress since the end of Phase 1, and outlines how computational research helps accelerate the search for important treatments.
If you missed the December 6th webcast with Dr. Stan Watowich from the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, Texas, you can now view the replay:
The webcast and Q&A session covered updates on the Discovering Dengue Drugs – Together project, which ran on World Community Grid from 2007 to 2009.
Dr. Watowich explained the threat from dengue and other viruses in the “flavivirus” family – for example, 40% of the world’s population is at risk for dengue. The continuing risk is even greater because the process for drug development is very inefficient, requiring thousands of candidate compounds to result in a single usable drug. There is limited funding for research into dengue and other diseases that primarily affect the developing world. However, the computational methods used on Discovering Dengue Drugs – Together can help by screening millions of chemical compounds to see which ones might bind to certain sites on key proteins within the target pathogen.
During the Discovering Dengue Drugs – Together project, the team learned about the potential, and the limitations, of computational docking on the flavivirus protease sites. Some promising compounds were identified and are still being tested and optimized for possible use in antiviral drugs.
As Dr. Watowich explained, there are still some challenges. For example, the compounds identified during screening do not match all the desired attributes for a drug, and the process for moving through lab testing, animal testing and eventual clinical trials is a long and complex one. There is no guarantee of success, but the results contributed by World Community Grid members have helped accelerate the screening process, improve the researchers' understanding of the docking software's capabilities, and advance the fight against a widespread and deadly family of diseases.
For more information, view the webcast replay, learn more about the project, and discuss in the forums. To stay involved, make sure you are signed up to participate in current projects. Stay tuned for future webcasts on this and other projects.
Thanks for making Discovering Dengue Drugs – Together possible.