A new compound library for central nervous system diseases may be on the way. The Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation (ADDF), Beyond Batten Disease Foundation (BBDF), and the National Multiple Sclerosis Society are collaborating to fund the creation of a central repository of chemical compounds that have shown significant central nervous system (CNS) activity: the Collaborative CNS Screening Initiative (CCSI).

Led by the Harvard NeuroDiscovery Center’s Laboratory for Drug Discovery in Neurodegeneration (LDDN) at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, the CCSI will share emerging compounds with the potential to treat diseases of the CNS among academic CNS drug discovery centers with the goal of maximizing their potential and accelerating drug discovery efforts within the neuroscience community.

Through the CCSI, screening and early-stage drug discovery centers will submit anonymous CNS-active compounds to a selective shared library. Eligible compounds must have not only demonstrated potential through primary screens but be validated through secondary assays, and exhibit other promising characteristics such as benefiting from chemical optimization. The CCSI library will be made available to participating centers to include in their ongoing screening, which will hopefully increase the exposure of the shared compounds to a range of assays, diseases, and conditions to identify beneficial activities. Centers that discover novel activity will be connected with the contributing center to discuss further drug development of the compound.

“We envisioned CCSI as a simple, cost-effective way to stimulate novel collaborations and accelerate the drug discovery process for the benefit of patients suffering with CNS diseases,” said Marcie Glicksman, Ph.D., co-director of the Laboratory for Drug Discovery in Neurodegeneration at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. “The concept is so straightforward, yet funding is scarce for such early-stage initiatives.”

Nine academic centers have already committed to participate in the CCSI. Although it will begin as an academic collaboration, the CCSI may eventually expand to include industry and other organizations.

Funding for CCSI includes $43,344 from the ADDF, and $40,000 each from BBDF and the NMSS.

“Sharing knowledge is fundamental to scientific progress and the earlier in the process we share, the better,” added Danielle Kerkovich, Ph.D., principal scientist of the Beyond Batten Disease Foundation. “The CCSI will help researchers pinpoint early-stage CNS compounds that warrant further development, creating a more efficient path toward innovation.”

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