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Diseases & Projects

Neglected tropical diseases continue to cause significant morbidity and mortality in the developing world. Yet, of the 1,556 new drugs approved between 1975 and 2004, only 21 (1.3%) were specifically developed for tropical diseases and tuberculosis, even though these diseases account for 11.4% of the global disease burden.

Human African TrypanosomiasisHuman African Trypanosomiasis

 

LeishmaniasisLeishmaniasis


Sleeping sickness or Human African Trypanosomiasis (HAT) is endemic in 36 African countries and around 21 million people are at medium to high risk of being infected. HAT is transmitted by the tsetse fly and is fatal without treatment. Up until 2009, existing treatments for stage 2 of the disease were toxic or difficult to administer. In 2009, DNDi and its partners launched the first new treatment for HAT in 25 years.

 

 


Leishmaniasis occurs in 98 countries with 350 million people living at risk worldwide. The parasite that leads to infection is called Leishmania and transmitted by sandflies. Leishmaniasis is a poverty-associated disease with several different forms; visceral leismaniasis, which is fatal without treatment, and cutaneous leshmaniasis are the most common. Existing treatments are difficult to administer, toxic, and costly. Drug resistance is also an increasing problem.

Chagas

 

Malaria


Chagas disease is endemic in 21 countries across Latin America and kills more people in the region than any other parasite-borne disease, including malaria. In total, 70 million people are at risk worldwide and patient numbers are growing in non-endemic countries such as the United States, Australia, and Europe. The disease is transmitted by an insect known as the "kissing bug" and, without treatment, is potentially fatal. Existing treatments have an unsatisfactory cure rate and can have toxic side effects.

 
Malaria kills one child every 1 minute in sub-Saharan Africa and is the leading parasitic cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. 3.3 billion people are at risk and while effective treatments exist, they have important limitations, including widespread drug resistance. DNDi and its partners have already developed two inexpensive, efficacious, field-adapted treatments.

Paediatric HIVPaediatric HIV

 

Filarial DiseasesFilarial Diseases


There are currently 36.9 million people living with HIV/AIDS worldwide. This figure includes 2.6 million children below 15 years of age, the overwhelming majority of whom live in sub-Saharan Africa. Infants acquire the virus before, during, or after birth, and without access to treatment half of them will die before their second birthday.


 
Filarial diseases, onchocerciasis (river blindness) and lymphatic filariasis (elephantiasis) inflict the heaviest socioeconomic burden of all the neglected tropical diseases and affect millions in poverty-stricken areas. However current treatments target the juvenile worm (microfilariae) and need to be repeated for 5 years in the case of lymphatic filariasis, and for 12-15 years in the case of onchocerciasis. There is an unmet medical need for a drug that can kill the adult worms (macrofilaricide).

MycetomaMycetoma

   


Mycetoma is endemic in many tropical and subtropical regions. It is characterized by devastating deformities, disability, and high morbidity. It causes stigma and has a serious negative socio-economic impact on those affected. There is only scant data on incidence and prevalence. It is thought that infection may be due to thorn pricks, but the exact route of infection is unknown. Similarly, it is not known what determines susceptibility and disease progress, and there is no data on drug resistance. Treatment requires prolonged courses of ineffective, prohibitively expensive antifungals which have serious side effects, followed by extensive and often destructive surgery (amputation) and recurrence is common. This poverty-related, chronic, slowly progressing disease does not have dramatic outbreaks that gain media attention, contributing to its neglect.

   



DNDi Portfolio 2015Project Portfolio

DNDi's R&D portfolio includes projects from discovery through to post-registration phases. To date, DNDi and its partners have made 6 new treatments available.

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