Navigation Links
DNDi receives the BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award in Development Cooperation
Date:6/19/2013

This news release is available in Spanish.

For those familiar with the field of neglected diseases, it goes by the name of the 10/90 gap: only 10 per cent of global health research was devoted to conditions that accounted for 90 per cent of the global disease burden. It was to counteract this imbalance that the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi) came into being in 2003. Coinciding with its tenth anniversary year, the organization has been granted the BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award in the Development Cooperation category. Its Executive Director, Bernard Pcoul, announced at a press conference that new drugs DNDi is working on "could dramatically change the management of some of these neglected diseases."

The organization and its partners are studying new, easier-to-administer oral drugs against diseases such as sleeping sickness, Chagas disease, and leishmaniasis, which both cause and result from poverty. DNDi has already delivered improved treatments against these diseases by combining or reformulating existing medicines, and now has new chemical compounds at different stages of the testing process.

Also under development is a new formulation of antiretroviral treatment for pediatric HIV. Pcoul remarked at the conference that 350,000 children each year need antiretroviral treatment and that of this number 90% are born in Africa. Although HIV is a widely studied disease, "not enough is being done specifically for infants and toddlers in developing countries." Today's treatments are neither child friendly they taste bad and contain alcohol nor suitable for patients in certain areas they need refrigeration. Two years ago, DNDi started a project to combine four drugs in one; a pleasant-tasting formulation that doesn't require the cold chain and which, according to Pcoul, "will hopefully reach the market in a couple of years."

Pcoul will receive the award this Thursday, on June 20th, at a formal ceremony in the BBVA Foundation's Madrid headquarters.

Public-private partnerships

DNDi is a not-for-profit research and development organization working to deliver new treatments for what are commonly known as neglected diseases, a set of 17 neglected tropical diseases and other conditions that affect hundreds of millions of people who are collectively too poor to offer a lucrative market to the pharmaceutical industry. It focuses particularly on sleeping sickness or human African trypanosomiasis, Chagas disease, leishmaniasis, filarial infections, malaria, and pediatric HIV.

DNDi was set up on the combined initiative of seven public and private institutions: Mdecins Sans Frontires/Doctors Without Borders, the Indian Council for Medical Research, the Kenya Medical Research Institute, the Malaysian Ministry of Health, France's Institut Pasteur, Brazil's Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz), and the Special Program for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases of the World Health Organization.

Its strategy is to coordinate and synergize the efforts of public and private partners including pharmaceutical companies in the development, production and distribution of new treatments. DNDi has offices in Switzerland, Brazil, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, India, Malaysia, the United States and Japan, and coordinates a partnership network that liaises with the public and private institutions involved in each project.

"DNDi's innovative collaborative model," Pcoul remarks, "has secured the increasing engagement of public and private actors, as a result of growing awareness of these urgent and neglected public health issues."

Among the organization's partners are a number of Spanish institutions including Mdecins Sans Frontires Spain, the Barcelona Centre for International Health Research (CRESIB), Carlos III University of Madrid, and GSK Tres Cantos. DNDi has also received financial support from the Spanish development cooperation agency AECID.

Six approved treatments

Pcoul offers figures to illustrate just what is meant by neglected diseases: between 1975 and 1999 only 16 of the total 1,393 new drugs developed by the pharmaceutical industry were specifically developed for neglected tropical diseases plus malaria or tuberculosis. In the last decade "progress has been made," but, he is quick to point out, "the fatal imbalance persists." Only 3.8% of the products, excluding vaccines, approved between 2000 and 2011 were targeted for neglected diseases, as was the case for only 1.4% of all clinical trials conducted in the same period.

After ten years of research and development, DNDi has delivered six treatments: two antimalarials, a combination therapy for late-stage sleeping sickness, a combination therapy for visceral leishmaniasis in Africa, a set of combination therapies for visceral leishmaniasis in Asia, and a pediatric dosage form of benznidazole for Chagas disease.

Also, the organization has helped establish three clinical research platforms in Africa and the Americas: for leishmaniasis in Kenya, Ethiopia, Sudan, and Uganda; for sleeping sickness in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and other endemic countries in the region; and for Chagas disease in Latin America. "Strong regional networks such as these," Pcoul affirms, "help strengthen research and treatment implementation capacity in neglected disease-endemic countries."

Sleeping sickness

NECT, the new sleeping sickness treatment developed by DNDi and its partners, is the first new product in 25 years for the late stage of the disease. It is far safer than what had previously been standard treatment, melarsoprol, an arsenic derivative so toxic that it kills 5% of those it is supposed to cure. The new treatment is already available in the twelve African countries which account for 99% of reported sleeping sickness cases.

DNDi is also working with partners on two new chemical entities for this disease: oxaborole SCYX-7158 and fexinidazole. The first is an oral compound which is currently concluding Phase I clinical studies, while fexinidazole, also an oral treatment, began Phase II/III studies in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Central African Republic in October 2012.

"A safe, effective, oral-only treatment would simplify the way the disease is managed," Pcoul explains, "as well as supporting the WHO's target to eliminate sleeping sickness by 2020."

Leishmaniasis and Chagas

DNDi is also about to start Phase II studies testing efficacy and safety on the use of fexinidazole in visceral leishmaniasis patients in East Africa.

Ten years ago, the standard treatment for visceral leishmaniasis was a month-long course of painful daily injections, a treatment schedule that is difficult to manage in poorly equipped health centers in the remote areas where the disease is found. The combined therapy delivered by DNDi has already shortened the treatment duration to 17 days, but the goal remains to come up with an oral treatment.

In the case of Chagas disease, a decade ago there were no pediatric formulations. DNDi's dosage form for children up to the age of two is oral, inexpensive, and easy-to-use. It is also designed for home administration: an important pro-compliance factor in what is a lengthy two-month treatment.

Another oral drug, E1224, is currently being tested on adult patients in Bolivia. "If successful," Pcoul says, "this drug could be the oral, easy-to-use, affordable and safe treatment option that Chagas patients need and deserve."

These ongoing projects are joined by an early-stage pipeline of twelve entirely new chemical entities.

"Receiving this prestigious award by the BBVA Foundation is a great honor for us and our partners and recognition of our collective achievements of the past 10 years," says Pcoul. "It is also a strong encouragement to pursue our mission and to continue to develop and deliver new and affordable treatments to neglected patients in dire need."


'/>"/>

Contact: Violaine Dällenbach
vdallenbach@dndi.org
41-794-241-474
Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Loyola Cancer Center receives Outstanding Achievement Award
2. MU receives national award for using mind-body approach to improve health
3. Neuropsychologist receives University of Houstons highest faculty honor
4. Boston researcher, surgical oncologist receives national award
5. LA BioMed receives Grand Challenges Explorations grant
6. Lawson researcher receives 1 of first-ever Pfizer Psychiatry Research Awards
7. Dr. Arthur Slutsky, vice-president of research at St. Michaels, receives lifetime award
8. UC San Diego Superfund Research Program receives $15 million grant renewal
9. Markey receives $6.25 million to study deadly blood and bone marrow disease
10. Feola, at University of Kentucky, receives NIH grant to study cystic fibrosis
11. UC Santa Barbaras Kavli Institute receives 2 grants to explore interface of physics and biology
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... June 27, 2016 , ... ... payment industry today announced its strategic partnership with Connance, a healthcare industry ... The two companies’ proven, proprietary technology combine to provide health systems, hospitals ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... June 26, 2016 , ... On June 10-11, 2016, A ... 2016 Cereal Festival and World’s Longest Breakfast Table in Battle Creek, MI, where the ... history as home to some of the world’s leading providers of cereal and other ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... Orion, Clarkston, Michigan (PRWEB) , ... June 26, ... ... with respect to fertility once they have been diagnosed with endometriosis. These women ... intercourse but they also require a comprehensive approach that can help for preservation ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... Viejo, California (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 , ... ... to fit their specific project," said Christina Austin - CEO of Pixel Film Studios. ... fully customizable and all within Final Cut Pro X . Simply select a ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 , ... On Friday, ... presented a Bronze Wellness at Work award to iHire in recognition of their exemplary ... part of the 7th annual Maryland Workplace Health & Wellness Symposium at the BWI ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... Va. , June 24, 2016 The ... set of recommendations that would allow biopharmaceutical ... (HCEI) with entities that make formulary and coverage decisions, ... the "value" of new medicines. The recommendations ... does not appear on the drug label, a prohibition ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... Mass. , June 24, 2016   Pulmatrix, ... pharmaceutical company developing innovative inhaled drugs, announced today that ... Russell Investments reconstituted its comprehensive set of ... "This is an important milestone for Pulmatrix," ... will increase shareholder awareness of our progress in developing ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... Calif. , June 23, 2016 Any dentist ... many challenges of the current process. Many of them do ... of the technical difficulties and high laboratory costs involved. And ... to offer it at such a high cost that the ... it. Dr. Parsa Zadeh , founder of ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: