[Geneva, Switzerland – 26 February 2013]
Today in Madrid, Spain, the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi) received the BBVA Foundation ‘Frontiers of Knowledge and Culture Award for Development Cooperation’. This EUR 400,000 award will be presented at a ceremony in Madrid, Spain, in June of this year.
Médecins Sans Frontières Spain nominated DNDi for this award for having delivered six new treatments for neglected diseases, notably Chagas disease, leishmaniasis, sleeping sickness, and malaria, in less than 10 years, while building sustainable research capacity in disease-endemic countries.
The award is conferred annually to initiatives that excel in areas such as research to address particular global challenges, in domains including basic sciences (physics, chemistry, mathematics); biomedicine; ecology and conservation biology; information and communication technologies; economics; finance and management; contemporary music; climate change; and development cooperation.
‘Controlling and eliminating diseases that mainly affect the world’s poorest is vital to alleviating poverty’, said José Antonio Bastos, President of Médecins Sans Frontières Spain. ‘Finding adapted treatments is essential to this equation and DNDi’s work has directly contributed to the health and welfare of the most vulnerable populations’, he noted.
‘We are very honoured to receive this prestigious award as DNDi marks a decade of research and development for the health needs of the most neglected populations’, said Dr Bernard Pécoul, Executive Director of DNDi. ‘We convey this important recognition of our work to all of the partners who are part of the initiative, including several key partners in Spain’, he added.
The Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi) is a not-for-profit research and development (R&D) organization working to deliver new treatments for neglected diseases, in particular sleeping sickness (human African trypanosomiasis), Chagas disease, leishmaniasis, filaria, malaria, and pediatric HIV. DNDi was established in 2003 by Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF), the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (FIOCRUZ) of Brazil, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI), the Ministry of Health of Malaysia, and the Pasteur Institute of France. The Special Programme for Tropical Disease Research (WHO/TDR) serves as permanent observer.
Since its inception in 2003, DNDi has delivered six new treatments for neglected patients: two fixed-dose antimalarials (ASAQ and ASMQ), nifurtimox-eflornithine combination therapy (NECT) for late-stage sleeping sickness, sodium stibogluconate and paromomycin (SSG&PM) combination therapy for visceral leishmaniasis in Africa, a set of combination therapies for visceral leishmaniasis in Asia, and a paediatric dosage form of benznidazole for Chagas disease.
DNDi has helped establish three clinical research platforms: Leishmaniasis East Africa Platform (LEAP) in Kenya, Ethiopia, Sudan, and Uganda; the HAT Platform based in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) for sleeping sickness; and the Chagas Clinical Research Platform in Latin America. Strong regional networks such as these help strengthen research and treatment-implementation capacity in neglected disease-endemic countries. www.dndi.org
Violaine Dällenbach, Press & Communications Manager, DNDi
Tel: +41 22 906 92 47 / Mobile: +41 79 424 14 74 / firstname.lastname@example.org