For GSK to really embrace open innovation, we must first be more open with our intellectual property. Last year, we announced that we would put 800 patents and patent applications into the public domain--commonly known as a 'patent pool'--to help the search for new medicines for neglected tropical diseases. Since we made that announcement, one small company, Alnlyam, has joined us. We hope others will join--and not just companies, but NGOs, not-for-profits, academics.
But our approach will go much further than just patents. We will allow access to our general "know how" and other knowledge and expertise. In fact we shouldn't call the pool a patent pool--we should call it a knowledge pool, because so much more than just patents are included.
That is why the second element of our open innovation strategy was to create a new concept called the Open Lab which will be part of our Tres Cantos Medicines Development Campus in Spain, dedicated to discovering new medicines for diseases of the developing world.
We are creating capacity for up to 60 outside researchers at our Tres Cantos Campus. At the Open Lab, researchers will be able to pursue their projects as part of a drug discovery team, allowing these visiting experts to tap into our expertise, facilities, knowledge and industrial-scale infrastructure. In addition to the resources and benefits-in-kind we are putting into this project, we will also set up a not-for-profit foundation to help fund these research projects, with initial seed funding from us of US$8 million.
This concept has already gained some traction. We are in discussions with two organizations--on projects for malaria and on TB--and we hope to conclude agreements soon and welcome these scientists into the Open Lab.
The third element of our open innovation strategy is to share our malaria drug-development expertise with the world's scientific community. How? Well, we have recently screened our entire compound library for molecules that inhibit the malaria parasite P. falciparum, the deadliest form of malaria found primarily in sub-Saharan Africa. This exercise has identified more than 13,500 'hits' that inhibited the parasite.
Today I am pleased to announce that we commit to put these 13,500 compounds, their chemical structures and associated assay data, into the public domain, making them freely available on leading scientific websites. Over 85% of these are proprietary to GSK. Our hope and expectation is that this will encourage further research by the scientific community on these findings and the opportunities they offer.
We believe that we are the first company to put in the public domain this level of data--and critically these specific chemical structures--from the screening of the entire compound library. By putting together our compounds, access to our patents and know-how and access to our R&D center and infrastructure we are demonstrating our commitment to R&D for the NTDs.