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DNDi expands activities to neglected patient needs in the field of helminth infections
Date:7/8/2011

i. "Such a drug could be used as an alternative preventive treatment with a major public health impact."

In addition to addressing the specific and urgent needs of co-infected patients, a new macrofilaricide could significantly reduce treatment cycles even for areas that are not burdened by co-infection, since it would no longer be necessary to wait until the adult worm dies, which can take up to 12 years. It could reduce current the MDA treatment cycle to approximately 2 to 3 years, making the diseases easier to control.

"The first step of this project is to assess the safety profile in pre-clinical studies to further reformulate flubendazole and develop a safe, highly efficacious, and field-adapted macrofilaricidal drug candidate," explains Dr. Charles MacKenzie of Michigan State University, who was involved in early work on flubendazole. "Flubendazole is the only macrofilaricide candidate on the horizon that has demonstrated positive in vivo results."

DNDi is partnering with Michigan State University in the US, and McGill University in Canada, for the pharmacodynamic studies; the generic pharmaceutical company Advinus Therapeutics, in India, for the toxicology and the pharmacokinetics studies; and Drugabilis and Bertin Pharma, France, for the pre-formulation and formulation of the drug, respectively.

"Without new tools adapted to the needs of patients in the poorest and remote areas of the world it will be difficult, if not impossible, to eliminate some of the most common neglected tropical diseases," said Dr. Bernard Pcoul, Executive Director of DNDi. "To achieve sustainable control and potential elimination of helminth infections, we need to both improve implementation of existing tools and develop better drugs for patients in whom current treatments do not work."

The initial investigations by DNDi to assess its helminth drug portfolio were made possible with the financial support of Doctors Without Borders/Mdecins S
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Contact: Oliver Yun
oyun@dndi.org
646-266-5216
Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative
Source:Eurekalert

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