A New Resource to “SPARK” Antibiotic Research

A New Resource to “SPARK” Antibiotic Research

One of many barriers to the discovery of novel antibiotics is a lack of information sharing. Although antibiotic research has been underway since the discovery of penicillin in 1928, it is difficult for scientists to build on past work and avoid repeating the same mistakes as their peers because relevant data is strewn across the literature or not publicly available.

However, a new open-access, cloud-based virtual laboratory named SPARK – Shared Platform for Antibiotic Research and Knowledge – seeks to change that. SPARK was created by PEW Charitable Trusts to encourage the sharing of chemical and biological data from both published and unpublished studies. The resource allows research scientists from around the world, including those in industry, academia, government, and the non-profit sector, to collaborate in real-time and generate new insights for antibiotic discovery.

One of the main goals of SPARK is to overcome treatment-resistant bacterial infections – in particular, learning how drug-like molecules can enter and stay inside Gram-negative bacteria. Similar data-sharing tools have been successful for speeding up drug discovery in other therapeutic areas, and the team behind SPARK hopes that it will do the same for microbiology.

If you’d like to register for access to SPARK at no cost, please visit this site.

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