Can Open Drug Discovery efforts contribute to a cure for the Zika Virus?
What is it about?
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.
Why is it important?
We propose that in order to incentivize drug discovery, and SPEED UP research, a neglected disease priority review voucher should be available to those who successfully develop an FDA approved treatment. Learning from the response to the ZIKA virus, the approaches to drug discovery used and the success and failures will be critical for future infectious disease outbreaks. The impact of the Zika virus is unfolding dramatically and is expanding beyond South America.
The following have contributed to this page: Dr Antony John Williams, Dr Sean Ekins, and Dr Carolina Horta Andrade