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ASTMH Symposium Showcases Efforts To Meet the Need for New Medicines to Treat Infectious Diseases in Developing Countries
Date:11/21/2009

WASHINGTON, Nov. 21 /PRNewswire/ -- An urgent need for new medicines to treat neglected infectious diseases in the developing world has prompted a growing number of collaborations among academic researchers, non-profit product development partnerships (PDPs), and pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. As noted today in a symposium at the 58th annual meeting of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (ASTMH), these collaborations are opening up new avenues of access to industry technology, expertise, and capabilities, enabling the harnessing of industry resources for new product innovation.

The need for these collaborations between industry and global health non-profits results from the lack of effective prevention or treatments for many infectious diseases of the developing world. There is a tremendous need for new R&D that could lead to new cures. Despite substantial progress in improving delivery of existing medicines for infectious diseases in the developing world, there are still major gaps in disease prevention, diagnosis, and treatment that must be alleviated through development of new medicines.

"Industry/public sector product development collaborations are one of the success stories for the developing world, as biopharmaceutical companies are discovering that investment in global health R&D is consistent with their broader commercial strategies," observed Dr. Christopher D. Earl, former chief executive officer of BIO Ventures for Global Health, who organized the symposium. "The participants in this symposium highlight how their organizations have made substantial progress in moving unused compounds from companies' shelves to the laboratory and ultimately to the clinic. By allowing experts access to assets that industry has amassed, these collaborations have spurred the development of new medicines for malaria, tuberculosis, and various parasite-borne diseases."

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SOURCE The American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
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