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DAILY NEWS ANALYSIS

GS-III :
  • 05 July, 2020

  • 3 Min Read

Drug Discovery Hackathon

Drug Discovery Hackathon

Recently, the government has launched Drug Discovery Hackathon 2020 (DDH2020), a first of its kind national initiative for supporting the drug discovery process. The objective is to identify drug candidates against SARS-CoV-2 (Covid-19) by in-silico drug discovery.

In-Silico Drug Discovery

  • In-Silico is an expression used to mean “performed on computer or via computer simulation.”
  • In-Silico drug discovery process is thus the identification of the drug target molecule by employing bioinformatics tools. Drug target molecules generally include DNA, RNA and proteins such as receptors, enzymes etc.
  • Identification of drug target molecules help in knowing their pharmacological relevance to the disease under investigation.

**Bioinformatics is the application of computational technology (such as Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning) to handle the rapidly growing repository of information related to molecular biology.

Other Points

  • Joint Initiative: DDH2020 is a joint initiative of the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD), All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) and the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and supported by partners like Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (CDAC), MyGov and private players.
  • Participants: Researchers/Faculty across the world, students studying in India and abroad.

Functioning:

It will primarily focus on computational aspects of drug discovery and will have three Tracks.

    • Track-1 will deal with computational modelling for drug design or identifying ‘lead’ compounds from existing databases that may have the potential to inhibit SARS-CoV-2.
    • Track-2 will encourage participants to develop new tools and algorithms using data analytics and AI/ML approach for predicting drug-like compounds with minimal toxicity and maximal specificity and selectivity.
    • Track 3 will only deal with novel and out-of-the-box ideas in this field.

Participants will submit their ideas online after which the CSIR and other labs will work towards executing them.

Source: PIB


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