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F1000Res. 2016 Feb 9;5:150. doi: 10.12688/f1000research.8013.1. eCollection 2016.

Open drug discovery for the Zika virus.

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Collaborations in Chemistry Inc, Fuquay-Varina, NC, USA; Collaborations Pharmaceuticals Inc., Fuquay-Varina, NC, USA; Collaborative Drug Discovery Inc., Burlingame, CA, USA.
Open Knowledge Foundation Deutschland e.V., Berlin, Germany.
The International Rescue Committee , NY, NY, USA.
Department of Pharmacology, Physiology and Neuroscience, Rutgers University-New Jersey Medical School, Newark, NJ, USA.
Department of Pharmacology, Physiology and Neuroscience, Rutgers University-New Jersey Medical School, Newark, NJ, USA; Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, and the Ruy V. Lourenço Center for the Study of Emerging and Re-emerging Pathogens, Rutgers University-New Jersey Medical School, Newark, NJ, USA.
Chemical Biology and Screening Platform, Brazilian Laboratory of Biosciences (LNBio), CNPEM, Campinas, Brazil.
Laboratory for Molecular Modeling, Division of Chemical Biology and Medicinal Chemistry, Eshelman School of Pharmacy, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC, USA.
Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of California San Diego, San Diego, CA, USA.
ChemConnector, Wake Forest, NC, USA.
LabMol - Laboratory for Molecular Modeling and Drug Design, Faculty of Pharmacy, Federal University of Goias, Goiânia, Brazil.


The Zika virus (ZIKV) outbreak in the Americas has caused global concern that we may be on the brink of a healthcare crisis. The lack of research on ZIKV in the over 60 years that we have known about it has left us with little in the way of starting points for drug discovery. Our response can build on previous efforts with virus outbreaks and lean heavily on work done on other flaviviruses such as dengue virus. We provide some suggestions of what might be possible and propose an open drug discovery effort that mobilizes global science efforts and provides leadership, which thus far has been lacking. We also provide a listing of potential resources and molecules that could be prioritized for testing as in vitro assays for ZIKV are developed. We propose also that in order to incentivize drug discovery, a neglected disease priority review voucher should be available to those who successfully develop an FDA approved treatment. Learning from the response to the ZIKV, the approaches to drug discovery used and the success and failures will be critical for future infectious disease outbreaks.


Aedes; Zika; dengue; drug discovery; ebola; flavivirus; microcephaly; yellow fever

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