The Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative (DNDi), Open Synthesis Network (OSN) partnership will allow the Institute to engage in drug discovery research for neglected diseases such as lymphatic filariasis and malaria.
OSN, launched in 2015, is a collaborative project that aims to engage masters and undergraduate students in research for neglected diseases. Montclair State University will join the effort along with ten participating universities around the world. They include, Shobhaben Pratapbhai Patel School of Pharmacy & Technology Management at Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies (NMIMS), Mumbai, India; Indian Institute of Chemical Technology (IICT), Hyderabad, India; Imperial College, London, UK; Northeastern University, Boston, USA; Pace University, New York City, USA; Duke University, Durham, USA; Haverford College, USA; Indian Institute of Technology, Gandhinagar, India; Miami University, USA; University of Geneva, Switzerland.
The partnership consists of real-life medicinal chemistry projects featuring neglected disease research. By participating in the OSN project, students will get an opportunity to develop skills in medicinal chemistry research and work on real drug discovery projects. Students will work on compounds that kill leishmania donovani and leishmania infantum, the parasites that cause visceral Leishmaniasis (VL), a devastating disease. The DNDi’s current objective for treating VL is to discover compounds more suited for oral administration, easier to use in the field, and with fewer side effects than existing treatments. Any successful compounds that come from the OSN project will be evaluated further as part of DNDi’s discovery pipeline. The main goal is to identify back up compounds to a preclinical candidate that is currently undergoing profiling and scheduled for first in man clinical studies in 2019.
The OSN program is a wonderful opportunity for Montclair students to take part in real drug discovery research and to achieve a personal sense of accomplishment for their efforts. Interested students should contact either Dr. Rotella, firstname.lastname@example.org or Dr. Siekierka, email@example.com.