Tuesday, December 4, 2012




are u interested to join






















Wednesday, November 7, 2012

YouTube Contest - The Need of New Drugs for TB

An Open Call to All ....

TB is a curable infection that affects more than 2 billion people across the  globe annually, claiming almost 1.4 million lives. It is estimated that TB claims one life every 20 seconds around the globe. In India alone, over 1000 lives succumb to TB everyday (2 deaths every 3 minutes). Existing TB treatment makes use of combinatorial therapy involving 4 medicines and is administered for a period of 6 to 9 months under the direct observation of a physician (DOTS).These drugs were discovered in the middle of 20th century. The treatment regimen is too long and risk prone and the inadequate administration of 
existing treatment has resulted in the emergence of MDR (multiple drug 
resistant) TB and XDR (extremely drug resistant) TB. The emergence of drug 
resistant cases of TB, and lack of any new drugs since past 60 years, 
demands the discovery of more effective, novel drugs. 

In order to create awareness about the need of new drugs for TB and to bring in more eyeballs to focus on the problem of TB,
Open Source Drug Discovery (OSDD) 
in collaboration with Vigyan Prasar 
organizing a Short Video Competition on “The Need of New Drugs for TB” 
for which prizes will be awarded during the Indian Science Congress 2013. It 
is open to all producers, both private and government; individuals as well 
as production agencies and organisations. Media centres, television 
channels and media schools are also encouraged to participate. The 
participants are requested to upload their videos on YouTube and inform 
the URL through the form which is required to be submitted.

The contest is open to all above 18 years of age (In India)
Contest Open Now !!! All entries for the competition should be submitted by 5 pm 30th November

a. First Prize 50,000/-
b. Second Prize 25,000/-
c. Third Prize 15,000/-
d. 20 Merit Prizes 10,000/- each

For more details and to download the entry form...please visit : http://www.osdd.net or http://www.vigyanprasar.gov.in

Thursday, November 1, 2012

OSDD cheminformatics at Imtech

       OSDD Cheminformatics started another unit  at GN Ramachandran protein centre at imtech  Chandigarh under the leader ship of  Dr GPS  Raghava  Imtech Chandigrah  .  Dr Narahari Sastry  (iict Hyderabad ) , Dr Kartikeyan (NCl Pune ) ,  Dr Andrew lynn  (JNU)   Dr jaleel (OSDD  ) will  collaborate   with  OSDD  team at Imtech  Chandigarh 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Youtube Video Competition on Need of New Drugs for TB
Zakir Thomas

Tuberculosis is a curable infectious disease. Yet every 20 seconds it kills someone somewhere in the world. In India alone two people die of TB every three minutes. However we do not hear a media outcry or a newsblitz on these deaths that regularly happen, day after day, year after year. This is because TB related deaths are so regular that it has ceased to be news.

The current TB therapy is a combination of four drugs (rifampicin, isoniazid, pyrazinamide, ethionamide) administered over a period of six to nine months. This therapy is to be administered under the direct supervision of a physician, called, Directly Observed Therapy, short duration (DOTS) (it is left to you to wonder who is the optimist who chose a six month treatment as a short duration therapy).   DOTS do have issues of hepatotoxicity and the long duration itself leads to treatment drop out and failures. Treatment failures and dropouts lead to multidrug resistant TB (MDRTB) which requires a lengthier (18 months) recourse more toxic second line therapy. Emergence of extremely drug resistant (XDRTB) is a serious cause of worry as many drugs are ineffective. MDR and XDR arises when common TB goes untreated or when person drops out of treatment.

The urgent need is to find new and more effective drugs that are of shorter duration and less toxic.

The DOTS drugs were discovered in the fifties and the sixties of the last century. Over more than four decades no new first line drugs have been invented. There are several reasons for this. The inventive pharmaceutical companies do not have adequate incentives to invest in the drugs for TB as the market size of TB is estimated  to be less than four hundred dollars while the estimated cost of drug development is much higher.

It is not insignificant that most people who contract TB or die of it are from the poorer sections of the society living in the developing and least developed regions of the world. They do not have a voice to say that that all lives, wherever you belong to, have equal value.

To enable you to give a voice to the voiceless TB patients, OSDD (www.osdd.net) along with Vigyan Prasaar (http://www.vigyanprasar.gov.in/index.asp) has organized a Youtube based short video competition. This competition is open for entries till 26 November, 2012. The prizes will be determined by an experienced jury who will also consider the number of online ‘likes’ you have received for your video. There are first, second and third prizes and 20 merit prizes to win. Anyone above 18 can participate. The duration of the movie shall be less then 5 minutes. You may even shoot from your mobile and upload like a citizen journalist, fill the form and submit it for competition. More details are at:  http://www.osdd.net/home/student-corner/student-corner-news-updates/shootuploadwinyoutubevideocompetitionontheneedofnewdrugsfortb

However, this is more than a competition. It is about giving a voice to the unheard and suffering TB patients. It is about a category of diseases called neglected diseases. It is about creating awareness about the desperate need of new drugs for TB

It will give  you a chance to speak up of the need of new drugs for TB.

To know more about TB, please visit

To read about TB in India, please see a recent series in The Hindu
India’s Tuberculosis Challenge by R Prasad
India has highest number of Multi Drug Cases in South Asia by Aarti Dhar

Sunday, September 30, 2012

"Give us molecules, We will give you drug."

                                                       Dr. Tushar Kanti Chakraborty
OSDDChem formally started functioning from April 2012.
 It is heartening to see that within short span of six months this program is already becoming popular with the real “MSME”s of Indian Universities/Educational Institutions. More than 48 projects with nearly 1505 molecules have been submitted so far.

 Looking at the list of the institutes from where these projects have been submitted, I feel a great sense of closeness with real "Bharat". This was our dream when we conceived this OSDDChem initiative. CSIR, from the very beginning, has always provided research support to small university faculties who were otherwise afraid to approach big funding agencies.


 Prof. CNR Rao

 started his research career 

with Rs.3000 research grant from CSIR.



OSDDChem will rewrite the way drug can be discovered in the country where the stakeholders will be unsung researchers from universities/institutes across the country. 

Echoing the famous call of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, let us say....."give us molecules, we will give you drug." 

The number is increasing, slowly but steadily. Do not let go this golden opportunity; walk an extra mile to realize your dream

We will be there with you extending our helping hand to do whatever is needed to be done to realize your dream.

……..drops become dribble, dribbles a trickle, trickles a rivulet, rivulets run to a river, rivers to ocean……………


Dr. Tushar Kanti Chakraborty

Central Drug Research Institute
Lucknow 226 001


Saturday, July 7, 2012

CSIR-OSDD training program on “Insilico analysis of Organic Molecules for Druggability and Mtb activity”  on 29th June 2012 at CSIR-NIIST, Thiruvananthapuram

            You may be aware that the OSDD activity and the chemistry outreach program in Kerala is progressing well.  In Kerala, NIIST and Academy of Chemistry Teachers (ACT) took up the humble mission of OSDD’s scientific march forward further with determination, to materialize its socio-scientific vision. The M.Sc. Outreach Programme was launched by holding a   National workshop organized by NIIST (CSIR) in association with ACT on 1st & 2nd March 2012. The following ten selected students were selected and were given training and support for their dissertation work from April to June 2012.
1. Mr.Akhilash M., T. K. M. College of Arts & Science, Kollam.
2. Miss. AncyYohannan University College,Thiruvananthapuram.
3. Miss. Arya R. M. SreeNarayanacollege,Chempazhanthy.
4. Miss. Atheetha V. S. SreeNarayanacollege,Chengannur.
5. Miss. Gayathri U. S. SreeNarayanacollege,Kollam.
6. Miss. JaiceRavindranSreeNarayanacollege,Kollam.
7. Miss. Sreejith R. Nair St. Stephen’s College,Pathanapuram.
8. Mr. Manu V. T. St. Stephen’s College,Pathanapuram.
9. Mr. Vishnu V. R. N. S. S. College, Pandalam.
10. Miss Ajithakumary A N. S. S. College, Pandalam
During this period they have synthesized 60 compounds and they will be submitted for screening to CDRI.The molecules are sent toMCC, Calicut and OSDD open lab at MCC Calicut under the leadership of Dr. UCA Jaleel carried out theInsilico analysis to evaluate the druggability of the molecules. As part of this, CSIR – NIIST, Thiruvananthapram in association with Academy of Chemistry Teachers conducted a one day CSIR-OSDD training program on Insilico analysis of Organic Molecules for Druggability and Mtbactivity” on 29th June 2012 at CSIR-NIIST seminar hall.  The program was aimed at strengthening the capability of students and teachers in insilico analysis with special emphasis on meeting the objectives of CSIR-OSDD program.  
Dr. UCA Jaleeland his team from CSIR-OSDD team of MCC, Calicutlead the training. Dr. Jaleel during his inspiring presentation gave an overview of OSDD activities and explained various aspects  related to medicinal chemistry. Students, Researchers  andTeachers were given training for using free softwaresand for assessing the druggabilty and activity of small molecules.
Dr. K. V Radhakrishnan of NIIST and Dr. I.G. Shibi General Secretary of ACT lead the deliberations.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

At Ekalavya’s Feet
Or to those who dare to go beyond….

Zakir Thomas 

OSDD is launching an e-learning initiative seeking to impart instruction in subject areas relating to drug discovery.

The story of Ekalavya in the Indian epic Mahabharatha depicts the urge of a village student not having access to brilliant teachers to seek knowledge, a determination to seek knowledge that was out of bounds to his peculiar situation, the ability to learn without the physical presence of the master, and to excel at the art. Though with a tragic end, it has been inspiring example for all those who followed the path of learning through their own difficulties.

The internet is regarded as the next biggest leap in knowledge dissemination after the invention of the printing press. If the printing press released knowledge from confines of monasteries and libraries, internet released us from the confines of physical space, from the confines of printed word, and opened up windows to the world in our homes. It is an unprecedented opportunity particularly to those in developing world to access knowledge that has so far been the privilege of few.

OSDD is driven by the fact that the current market oriented drug discovery models fail to find solutions to problems affecting large number of patients, particularly those afflicted by diseases endemic to the tropical regions. Those who hold the power over the knowledge that could lead to find solution to these problems, fail to do so, as it is not profitable to their enterprises. A patient whether of tropical disease or otherwise should have the access to latest drugs. We refuse to accept a worldview which result in a situation where all lives do not have equal value. Rather than be passive spectators of the problem, OSDD endeavor is to find a solution to reach the unreached.

Drug Discovery has been a hallowed science, often revered only in the confines of pharmaceutical research and development centers. In the conventional drug discovery model, the job of the academic world has been to train scientists, who will then work with the industry. Most drugs developed in the 20th century were developed in this model and we owe to the pharmaceutical industry for their contribution to improving life expectancy around the world. In the recent years, as the new drug pipelines are drying up there is a general feeling that low hanging fruits are plucked. There is increasing awareness of the complexity of the task associated with drug discovery and the academia has risen to face this challenge and a large number of early stage discoveries are taking place in research laboratories of universities, which are then licensed to pharmaceutical enterprises. This points to the need and possibilities of fostering collaborations in drug discovery and the opportunities that lie in tapping the potential of student minds in solving problems. OSDD endeavors to bring drug discovery to the open, where researchers, scientists, academicians and industry can collaboratively endeavor to solve complex problems.

The convergence of computing and mathematical, statistical, biological and chemical sciences are providing reasonable predictions in a field where the basic approach followed in discovery of penicillin still rule the roost. Advances in science is throwing up large data and advances in computation is enabling analysis of this data which will feed into the drug discovery pipeline. Therefore, it is reasonable to expect bioinformatics and cheminformatics to play an important role in the drug discovery process.

While bioinformatics has been widely accepted and practiced in the academic community, with strong presence of both open and proprietary software adding value, informatics has been rather slow to take root in the discipline of chemistry. Therefore we see fewer student/researcher activity in cheminformatics, the impact is directly seen in the lesser number of open source software and tools. The OSDD community developed tools reflects our commitment to fill this gap, and this endeavor will continue.

While OSDD is a serious drug discovery project, it has an equally important educational component.  The workforce behind OSDD community, currently around 5,500 from more than 130 countries, is the student fraternity. They are engaged in furthering the understanding of the biology of the organism, from cloning to expression to synthesis of complex molecules, to developing software tools and analyzing large volumes of data. In this activities they are guided by experienced academicians and scientists, both in public and private sector.

At OSDD we would like to go beyond those who are actively engaged in its drug discovery activities to the wider student community, by providing an e-learning platform where they could find material on a wide array of topics, from bioinformatics to quantum mechanics, from pharmacology to medicinal chemistry, from open source to intellectual property.

We have launched this e-learning initiative out of our firm commitment that internet provides a platform to reach the unreached. We have the conviction born out of our experience that in the distant and remote corners, far away from prominent academic institutions, there are brilliant minds capable of solving complex challenges, and they are eagerly seeking knowledge. Thomas Grey wrote in his Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard:

Full many a gem of purest ray serene
The dark unfathomed caves of ocean bear;
Full many a flower is born to blush unseen,
And waste its sweetness in desert air.

We at OSDD refuses to accept this status quo. And our e-learning initiative is a step to make knowledge free from the narrow confines of elite institutions to the wide open world of internet. It is also our little contribution to humanities’ tireless effort to create a world, as in Tagore’s words:

Where knowledge is free
Where the world has not been broken up into fragments
By narrow domestic walls
Where words come out from the depth of truth
Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection
Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way
Into the dreary desert sand of dead habit.

What gives us confidence to launch this e-learning initiative is the large academic and scientific community, already involved in OSDD. Some of them have already been using e-learning as effective tool to train researchers in OSDD activities. They will provide lectures on various topics to the benefit of all, even those who are not even members of OSDD. This will include some well known teachers, from reputed universities, who will provide their lessons over this e-learning platform, to reach to those who are not lucky enough to be in their classrooms.

We would urge the student community to make the best of this opportunity. The power of the web is unleashing an unprecedented openness in science. Today the students, particularly in the developing world, have more opportunities for learning than the generation before them.It is for them to make full use of these opportunities.

The following lines of Lord Alfred Tennyson’s poem Ulysses has special meaning to those who would not like to rest on what they have got in life. Ulysses, who after winning his battles and epic voyage returned to his Kingdom, but decided to abdicate his thrown in favor of his son Telemachus and start a new journey. The poem Ulysses is his farewell speech.

How dull it is to pause, to make an end,
To rust unburnish’d, not to shine in use!
And this gray spirit yearning in desire
To follow knowledge like a sinking star,
Beyond the utmost bound of human thought.
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

OSDD is for those who seek to go beyond the ordinary!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

We have made big steps, but still have miles to go ahead

OSDD has marched a good way ahead since its inception. 
We have candidate molecules to target Mycobacterium. 
Our genomic and cheminformatic phases have produced definitely positive results and our synthetic organic chemists are earnestly into their work. 

Dr.Bal Ganesh, who quit covetable position with AstraZeneca and joined OSDD movement, says that still we can hope for a real and better drug molecule to come out only by 2020. 
This is despite the strenuous efforts the scientific community has made so far.
Also commented that disease is sometimes better than medicine. 

This simply point to the long and harsh schedule of first line drugs and still longer and harsher schedule of second line drugs and the quarantine required for TB. 
Now there are reports of Totally Drug Resistant TB from our country, even though not yet confirmed. 

So the task ahead is not at all easy. Only by putting in our mind and soul completely into the problem, we can hope for better. 
Keep our labs, lights and minds switched on till we reach there. And we genuinely hope we will pass the milestone well before 2020. 

Dr Prasad M Alex