Use open data and collaborative methods to discover molecules that could lead to new medicines for mycetoma
current phase of drug development
updated 28 Apr 2023
The Mycetoma Open Source project (MycetOS) uses an ‘open source pharma’ approach to discover new treatments targeting M. mycetomatis, the predominant causative agent of fungal mycetoma (eumycetoma).
MycetOS was launched in 2018 by the University of Sydney, Australia, Erasmus MC (Erasmus University Medical Center, Rotterdam, the Netherlands), and DNDi.
MycetOS progresses drug discovery efforts through community-driven, in-kind scientific contributions and a robust, fully transparent online presence. All ideas and results are published immediately in real time to an open-access database, free of intellectual property constraints through the use of a Creative Commons licence. Results and the associated data form the starting point for the MycetOS community, which shares data and key project files on the GitHub platform and communicates on Twitter (@MycetOS).
Using this radically open approach, MycetOS aims to identify potential new treatments in a transparent and inclusive way.
How to get involved
To get involved, please join a monthly online research meeting on the GitHub platform.
For further information, follow project communications on Twitter (@MycetOS).
Drug discovery efforts continued throughout 2022 with Erasmus MC, University College London, and University of Sydney closely collaborating to find new drugs for mycetoma. This year, the University of Bayreuth also joined the MycetOS team. DNDi continued to act in a supporting role. Six compound series are under investigation, including fenarimols, aminothiazoles, antifolate inhibitors, benzimidazoles, and ketoximes. In the fenarimol series, a correlation was discovered between logD and in vivo efficacy in an invertebrate model. With the help of high school students under the supervision of University College London and the University of Sydney, novel aminothiazoles were created and tested for biological activity at Erasmus MC. The benzimidazoles appeared to be active not only against Madurella mycetomatis but also against other fungal causative agents of mycetoma, including Falciformispora senegalensis.
In 2021, collaborative work using the MycetOS platform continued. A second manuscript on MycetOS was accepted for publication, and new starting points for mycetoma drug discovery were discovered via screening of the Pandemic Response Box, a joint project of MMV and DNDi.
In 2020, MycetOS improved web-based options for sharing and tracking data and contributions, and released their first newsletter to mark World NTD Day in January. The project also initiated biweekly drug discovery project meetings, which are open for all to attend. Additional hit starting points with potential against M. mycetomatis were identified via screening of the open-source Pandemic Response Box pioneered by MMV and DNDi.
A list of current targets for Open Pharma project MycetOS has been compiled and opportunities given to researchers interested in working on them. Two participating institutions from the Open Synthesis Network have received preliminary data and are working to identify new compounds with potential activity against mycetoma.
News & resources
- 4 February 2022 – Screening the Pandemic Response Box identified benzimidazole carbamates, olorofim, and ravuconazole as promising drug candidates for the treatment of eumycetoma, PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases
- 10 November 2021 – MycetOS: Harnessing the power of open source to develop treatments for a most neglected disease
- 9 May 2018 – Addressing the most neglected diseases through an open research model: the discovery of fenarimols as novel drug candidates for eumycetoma, PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases
- 6 February 2018 – New open source drug discovery project aims to develop mycetoma treatment
- 1 January 2018 – MycetOS factsheet
- Data sharing and key project discussions may be found on github
- 12 April 2023 – PhD defense Wilson Lim: Managing mycetoma: Improving identification and the search for new treatment options
- 9 June 2022 – Identifying novel drugs with new modes of action for neglected tropical fungal skin diseases (fungal skinNTDs) using an Open Source Drug discovery approach, Expert Opinion on Drug Discovery
Associate Professor Wendy van de Sande from Erasmus University, Rotterdam, Netherlands; Associate Professor Mat Todd at the University of Sydney, Australia; Ben Perry at DNDi.
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