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Finding promising drug candidates against tuberculosis with multidisciplinary protocol based non-conventional search.

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Outlining the steps to better drug development

Advances in human genomics and proteomics hold promise for innovative approaches to much needed drug development. However, high-throughput techniques cannot stand alone in this quest for knowledge discovery and analysis.

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The 'Finding promising drug candidates against tuberculosis with multidisciplinary protocol based non-conventional search' (Scrin-silico) project's main objective was to develop a protocol that would help identify novel drug-binding sites and drug-protein complexes of Mycobacterium tuberculosis proteins. Team researchers aimed to develop a protocol with two main elements. The first involved a method for identifying surface indentation patterns in protein 3D structures. On the strength of data and information obtained from various experiments, high-throughput methods were used to perform pairwise searches to establish drug-protein binding. This was done in a rough first phase (Silico 1) and a more thorough investigative second phase (Silico 2). The second part of the project involved a structural and molecular biology protocol to guide examination of best-suited drug-protein pairs. This was done using various medium- and low-throughput methods. The Scrin-silico project succeeded in creating a widely applicable in silico/in vitro screening technology. This innovation opens the way for enhanced development of chemotherapies and can effectively address problems associated with multiple drug-resistance (MDR) and toxicity. The results of the project have increased European competitiveness in academic research and among biotech and pharmaceutical companies. Also, Scrin-silico has managed to establish a results-oriented link between European academia and industry. This will ultimately improve translation of scientific and research excellence into better processes and more beneficial health products.

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