DFID’s funding of DNDi in the news…

[Geneva –March 9, 2006]
UK government commits £6.5 million to DNDi’s research for new medicines for neglected diseases
RealHealthNews interview with Bernard Pecoul regarding DFID funding of DNDi.

puce Britain Takes First Step To Jump-Start Research & Development For Neglected Diseases
Medical News Today (DNDi, Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative)

puce UK government commits £6.5 million to DNDi’s research for new medicines for neglected diseases
Pharma Live (Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative, DNDi, dndi, Bernard Pecoul , Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative)

puce UK government commits £6.5 million to DNDi’s research for new medicines for neglected diseases
Biospace.com

puce Cash boost for neglected diseases
Sutton Coldfield Observer (Chagas disease)

The UK’s Department of International Development (DFID) today granted £6.5 million (9.5 million Euros) to the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi) for essential research and development of drugs for neglected diseases such as human African trypanosomiasis, leishmaniasis, Chagas disease, and malaria.

“We congratulate the UK government for this generous commitment to R&D that will make available safe, effective, practical-to-use, and affordable drugs so desperately needed by patients,“ remarked Dr. Bernard Pecoul, Executive Director of DNDi. “This grant gives hope to millions of patients who unacceptably die or suffer from these diseases in the poorest regions of the world.”

The grant, spread over three years, is critical support for DNDi to further develop its North and South public and private partnerships to address the significant drug development gap for neglected tropical diseases. With a current portfolio of 20 projects, DNDi aims to develop 6 to 8 new, improved, and field-relevant drugs by 2014, including two new malaria treatments that will be registered by the end of 2006.

Gareth Thomas, UK International Development Minister, said: “Forgotten and neglected diseases threaten up to half a billion people worldwide. Developing better and new treatments, and giving people the tools to tackle disease, is vital if we are to address the longterm health, not only of individuals, but of poor nations too. Funding initiatives such as these are key to our fight against poverty.”

A massive governmental commitment is needed to address the urgent needs of patients suffering from these poverty-related diseases. While the establishment of product development partnerships (PDPs) like DNDi represents an important evolution for neglected diseases research, these PDPs have mainly been supported by philanthropic organizations until now. For instance, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), catalyzed the creation of DNDi with a 2003 commitment of 25 million Euros. To sustain the momentum slowly achieved in this field of research, however, public sector investment similar to DFID’s is urgently required to tackle public health needs.

Dr. Pecoul said, “By honoring the G8 pledge to support drug research and development for neglected diseases, the UK government via its funding of DNDi and other PDPs is leading the way in accelerating the fight against neglected diseases. We urge other governments to join the fight against these devastating diseases.”

For more information, or to arrange an interview with Dr Bernard Pecoul, contact Ann-Marie SEVCSIK at amsevcsik@dndi.org; +1-646-258-8131 or +41 (0)79 814 9147)

Click here to DFID’s website