Union HRD minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank and Union health minister Harsh Vardhan on Thursday jointly launched Drug Discovery Hackathon which is a unique national initiative to invite people from various professions across the globe to identify possible drugs to tackle COVID-19.
The hackathon is a joint initiative of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE).
The hackathon is conceptualised under guidance of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Pokhriyal said that the hackathon will be open to participation from across the globe from professionals, faculty, researchers and students from varied fields like computer science, chemistry, pharmacy, medical sciences, basic sciences and biotechnology.
“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 and also on new drug discovery to develop specific drugs against Covid-19,” said Harsh Vardhan.
Hackathon will primarily focus on computational aspects of drug discovery and will have three Tracks.
The first track will deal with computational modelling for drug design or identifying ‘lead’ compounds from existing databases that may have the potential to inhibit novel coronavirus.
The second track encourage participants to develop new tools and algorithms using data analytics and AI/ML approach for predicting drug-like compounds with minimal toxicity and maximal specificity and selectivity.
In the third track, only new and unique ideas would be seen and understood through the “moonshot approach”.