joint initiative of MHRD’s Innovation Cell (MIC), All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) and Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) he Union Government launched Drug Discovery Hackathon, which is a and supported by Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (CDAC), MyGov as well as private players.
Drug Discovery Hackathon
The Hackathon is first of its kind national initiative for supporting the drug discovery process and will see participation from professionals, faculty, researchers and students from varied fields like Computer Science, Chemistry, Pharmacy, Medical Sciences, Basic Sciences and Biotechnology.
MHRD’s Innovation cell and AICTE will focus on identifying potential drug molecules through the Hackathon while CSIR will take these identified molecules forward for synthesis and laboratory testing for efficacy, toxicity, sensitivity and specificity.
The Hackathon will help India establish a new model for expediting the drug discovery process. The Hackathon consists of challenges that are posted as problem statements and are based on specific drug discovery topics which are open to the participants to solve. A total of 29 problem statements have been identified.
It will have three phases of three months each and the whole exercise is to be completed by April-May 2021. At the end of each phase, successful teams will be rewarded. The lead compounds identified at the end of phase 3 will be taken forward for experimental level at CSIR and other interested organizations.
The Hackathon will have three tracks:
- Track 1 will primarily deal with drug design for anti-COVID-19 lead generation. This is done using tools such as molecular modelling, pharmacophore optimization, molecular docking and lead optimization.
- Track 2 will deal with designing/optimizing new tools and algorithms which will have an immense impact on expediting the process of in silico drug discovery.
[in-silico drug discovery utilizes computational methods such as machine learning, AI and big data].
- Track 3 called “Moon shot “ allows for working on problems which are ‘out of the box’ nature.