Human African trypanosomiasis (HAT) is an infectious disease with a large global health burden occurring primarily in Central and Eastern Africa. HAT is 100% fatal if untreated and the current drug therapies suffer from poor safety profiles, difficult treatment regimens, limited effectiveness, and high costs. Furthermore, drugs that cross the blood brain barrier (BBB) are notoriously difficult to develop and have a lower probability of reaching the market place. Here, we propose to apply a quantum-similarity approach to discover novel T. Brucei inhibitors. The approach allows for simultaneous interrogation of multiple targets and pathways, and for incorporation of various pharmacological requirements early in the discovery process, thus increasing the chances of finding novel therapeutics with great selectivity, potency and pharmacokinetic properties. Instead of screening millions of compounds for novel modulators of the target of interest, our focused testing of 10-20 commercially available compounds per target (pathway, protein etc.) with predicted (inhibitory) activity by the modeling effort, allows us to quickly explore novel chemical spaces for therapeutic applications. The modeling, virtual search, identification and rank ordering of novel classes T. brucei inhibitors, as well as the de novo design of novel anti-trypanosome drug candidates will be done by Gradient Biomodeling. The experimental evaluation of the compounds will be done in the laboratory of Dr. Kojo Mensa-Wilmot at the University of Georgia.

Public Health Relevance

Human African trypanosomiasis (HAT) or 'sleeping sickness'is a neglected tropical disease caused by the parasite Trypanosoma brucei. Here, we propose to apply a quantum-similarity approach to discover novel inhibitors of T. Brucei. Quantum similarity takes modeling of bio-molecular interactions a step further and uses first principles of quantum theory alone to describe the whole system rather than just the central part. This allows for simultaneous interrogation of multiple targets and pathways, and incorporation of various pharmacological requirements early in the drug discovery process, thus increasing the chances of finding novel therapeutics to reduce CNS invasion and ameliorate immune mediated pathology in this parasitic CNS infection.

Agency
National Institute of Health (NIH)
Type
Small Business Innovation Research Grants (SBIR) - Phase I (R43)
Project #
1R43AI114078-01
Application #
8780972
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1)
Program Officer
Mcgugan, Glen C
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
1
Fiscal Year
2014
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
Name
Gradient Biomodeling, LLC
Department
Type
DUNS #
City
Park City
State
UT
Country
United States
Zip Code
84098