Internet computing tackles Malaria

Monday 10 May 2004
Find-a-Drug, Evesham, UK

Find-a-Drug is pleased to announce the start of its anti-Malaria Internet computing project. By using the spare computer time of thousands of PCs connected to the Internet to form a large supercomputer, Find-a-Drug has the ability to evaluate the drug potential of around 1 billion molecules.

"In the Western world it is very easy to think that Malaria has been eradicated and ignore that in Africa one child under 5 years old dies every minute from Malaria", comments Keith Davies, Scientific Director of Find-a-Drug. In developing countries, the death rate from Malaria is over 1,000,000 people per year, 3 times that from HIV/AIDS. This contrasts greatly from the situation in the USA where in 2002 there were approximately 1,300 reported cases of Malaria although only 8 people died (statistical data taken from http://www.cdc.gov/malaria).

Using insecticide-treated nets is currently one of the best ways to prevent young children being infected. Many of the current anti-malaria drugs can not be safely prescribed for children or have side-effects which often mean that dose compliance is practically impossible. This project aims to find new drug candidates which are inexpensive to make as well as safe and effective. The results of the project will be made available to research groups throughout the world.

Each PC runs a copy of the THINK software in the background which does not affect normal use of the PC. All data transferred between the PCs and the Find-a-Drug Internet servers are encrypted. This is a necessary and valuable precaution to prevent the introduction of a harmful agent such as a virus on to the computers. PC owners may participate in the project by downloading the THINK software and molecules from www.find-a-drug.org. Once installed, the software does not require any interaction by the owner.

To participate visit www.find-a-drug.org.

For further information please contact:

Tel: Keith Davies +44 1386 870153 or 07879 495105
E-mail: Keith.Davies@find-a-drug.org

About Find-a-Drug

Find-a-Drug was set up in 2002 by Treweren Consultants (Evesham, UK) as a non-profit organisation using Internet-based computing for drug discovery. The software used in this project has also been used for Internet computing projects in collaboration with Oxford University (Cancer), Cardiff University (HIV), University of Rockefeller, New York, USA (Plague), University of Pennsylvania, USA (Multiple Sclerosis) and the University of Luebeck, Germany (SARS). Preliminary results from the Cancer and HIV projects are very promising and have been reported on www.find-a-drug.org.