For supporting the drug discovery process, a national initiative called Drug Discovery Hackathon 2020 was launched on 2nd July 2020. The initiative was launched by Ramesh Pokhriyal (Union Human Resource Development Minister) and Dr. Harsh Vardhan (Union Minister for Health & Family Welfare and Science and Technology).
Objective of the Hackathon
The objective of the hackathon is to identify drug candidates for the COVID-19 virus through computational methods. Further the findings from the hackathon for chemical synthesis and biological testing.
About the Hackathon
Any professional, researchers, faculty, and students can participate from across the globe. The primary focus during the hackathon will be to focus on the computational aspects of the discovery of drugs. This will be done on three tracks:
- Track 1: From an existing database, identifying computational modeling for drug design. The identified modeling must provide resistance or inhibit the COVID-19 virus
- Track 2: Using data analytics, new tools and algorithms will be developed. Further by using machine learning or artificial intelligence algorithms, predict a drug-like compound that will have the least toxicity and higher selectivity and specificity.
- Track 3: Ambitious and exploratory approaches that will lead to a novel ground-breaking projects in this field. Working on out of the box problems.
The Hackathon will help in accelerating the drug discovery process in India by establishing a new model. The hackathon will have three phases: each of the phases will be of 3 months each. The Drug Discovery Hackathon will be completed by April-May 2021.
Through the Tracks above, at the end of Phase 3, the predicted drug-like compound will be taken forward at the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and other leading organizations in the country for experimental testing.