SEATTLE, Jan. 11, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Infectious Disease Research Institute (IDRI) announced today the receipt of supplemental funds from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, totaling over half a million dollars to augment the multi-million dollar award made last year as part of the Foundation's Tuberculosis (TB) Drug Accelerator program. The purpose of the original grant, titled "Chemical genomics for the identification of targets and leads in tuberculosis, is to identify new leads and new drug targets suitable for further drug development, with the ultimate goal of producing new drugs to treat TB. The additional funding will allow IDRI to expand its activities and leverage increased participation by the pharmaceutical community in tuberculosis drug discovery.
According to the World Health Organization, nearly two million people die of TB each year. Approximately 9 million people are newly infected with TB annually, and half a million cases are resistant to the multiple drugs that once effectively treated the disease.
IDRI will use the additional funds to expand several areas of work in early drug discovery including increasing their capacity to screen for anti-tubercular compounds, evaluation of hit compounds and novel drug target identification. "We are very pleased and thankful to be able to expand our efforts in drug discovery enabling progress towards our goal of developing new antibiotics for tuberculosis," said Prof. Tanya Parish, Director of TB Drug Discovery at IDRI, "The additional funding will allow us to screen a wider variety of compounds and progress them into drug candidates more rapidly."
Dr. Steven Reed, President, Chief scientific officer and Founder of IDRI, said, "These additional funds will greatly help our drug discovery efforts, enabling us to increase our interactions with the academic and pharmaceutical communities to find new treatments for tuberculosis."
The Infectious Disease Research Institute (IDRI) is a Seattle-based not-for-profit organization committed to applying innovative science to the research and development of products to prevent, detect, and treat infectious diseases of poverty. By integrating capabilities, including early stage drug discovery, preclinical testing, manufacturing, and clinical trials, IDRI strives to create an efficient pathway bringing scientific innovation from the laboratory to the people who need it most. For more information, visit www.idri.org.
SOURCE Infectious Disease Research Institute (IDRI)