Varied researches are focused in producing safe, effective and inexpensive medicines for many of the neglected infectious diseases (NEGD), currently affecting more than one billion individuals, mostly poor people. The WHO list of NEGD comprises 17 conditions for which there are scarce effective drugs and treatments available.
Much research activity has been published for NEGD treatments. Varied groups claim that their work could lead to new therapies for NEGD, but few in fact do. Whilst scientists, research centers, universities and funders keep focusing on papers and patents, patients are not yet being reached by the published results.
It is well known, however, that the discovery of a new drug is a multi-stage complex process, lasting for several years. Discovering drugs to NEGD is still a challenging task for researchers, due to the intricate pathways involved in host-parasite interactions. Also, political, economic and regulatory processes make the process of discovery or repositioning even more long lasting, increasing the cost of drug discovery considerably. In this context, drug repositioning becomes a feasible opportunity, representing nearly 30% of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved drugs recently.
Chemoinformatics deals with discovering drugs based in modern drug discovery techniques which in turn provides solutions to complex issues in drug discovery. Molecular methods are also being even more explored in drug discovery, given that the knowledge of the genetic background may give more direction of conclusion for key aspects of drug discovery or repositioning. However, as exposed, such results are not reaching affected patients.
This issue, therefore, aims to explore translational research regarding molecular and computational investigations in drug discovery and repositioning for neglected diseases, opening doors not only for discussions on the topic, but for opportunities to speed up the application of basic research in clinical practice.
Biological Sciences Institute, Federal University of Juiz de Fora, Brazil.
Health and Human Development Faculty, Santo Agostinho Institute, Brazil
Biological Sciences Institute, Federal University of Minas Gerais, Brazil.