Government Launches Drug Discovery Hackathon, A Unique National Initiative
New Delhi: The Union Government on Thursday launched the Drug Discovery Hackathon, a first of its kind national initiative for supporting drug discovery process.
It will involve participation of professionals, faculty, researchers and students from varied fields like Computer Science, Chemistry, Pharmacy, Medical Sciences, Basic Sciences and Biotechnology.
“We need to establish the culture of Computational Drug Discovery in our country. In this initiative, 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,” Minister for Science and Technology Dr Harsh Vardhan said during the launch.
Pointing out that drug discovery is a complex, expensive, arduous and time-consuming process, Vardhan said: “While we pursue clinical trials of few repurposed drugs for COVID-19, as they are faster and can quickly be launched, it is also important that we find other suitable repurposed drugs while at the same time continue working on new drug discovery to develop specific drugs against COVID-19”.
He added: “In-silico drug discovery which utilizes Computational methods such as Machine Learning (ML), AI and Big Data will help in accelerating this process”.