SCYNEXIS and DNDi Enter Landmark Multi-Year Agreement to Identify Drug Candidates to Treat Sleeping Sickness

[Research Triangle Park, USA, and Geneva, Switzerland – November 1, 2007 ]
SCYNEXIS and Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi), have agreed to collaborate on vital drug discovery research and development of affordable and effective therapies for human African trypanosomiasis (also known as sleeping sickness), one of the most devastating diseases in sub-Saharan Africa.

A fatal disease if not treated, human African trypanosomiasis threatens more than 50 million people in 36 countries. Currently, few drugs exist for the treatment of either Stage 1 or Stage 2 human African trypanosomiasis, and severe toxic side effects are a common problem. The difficulty of diagnosis, stage determination, and increasing numbers of treatment failures pose additional clinical challenges.

Formed to specifically address unmet patient needs, the collaboration has been agreed upon for 5 years and 17 million US dollars, and includes partners at Genzyme and Pace University. The goal of this project is to progress molecules proven to be safe and active against HAT parasites in early-stage screening research through the first steps of regulatory safety assessment in the preclinical phase.

“We look forward to a successful collaboration in the field of sleeping sickness”,  remarked SCYNEXIS President & CEO Yves Ribeill.  “This agreement marks our efforts to strengthen and to broaden our commitment by applying SCYNEXIS’ advanced technology and proven record of success in drug discovery and development to work on neglected diseases and, thus, to contribute to improved world-wide health.”

“The partnership of SCYNEXIS and DNDi addresses a critical gap in the drug development pipeline for sleeping sickness, which is the selection of new drug candidates to enter into further development,” remarked Dr. Bernard Pecoul, Executive Director of DNDi. “Such an agreement will serve as a catalyst for future drug development for neglected diseases.”


SCYNEXIS is a premier drug discovery and development company headquartered in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina.  SCYNEXIS’ mission is to be the leader in delivering effective and innovative drug pipeline solutions to its pharmaceutical and global health partners.

SCYNEXIS research and development teams have been tailored to be especially effective in moving customer projects from the discovery phase to the clinic.  SCYNEXIS research teams have a high level of expertise and a strong record of achievement in integrating medicinal chemistry, advanced biological screening, computational chemistry, ADMET/bioanalysis and analytical chemistry in advancing molecules to preclinical development.  SCYNEXIS development teams integrate bioanalytical, process development and manufacturing capabilities to produce drugs for pre-clinical and clinical testing.  They operate under current GMP/GLP guidelines and have a strong history record of excellence.

For more information, please visit Scynexis at

About DNDi
The Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi) is an independent, not-for-profit drug development initiative established in 2003 by five publicly-funded research organisations – the Malaysian Ministry of Health, the Kenya Medical Research Institute, the Indian Council of Medical Research, the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation Brazil, and the Institut Pasteur – as well as an international humanitarian organisation, Médecins Sans Frontières. The UNICEF/UNDP/World Bank/WHO’s Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases (TDR) is a permanent observer. With a current portfolio of 18 projects, DNDi aims to develop new, improved, and field-relevant drugs for neglected diseases, such as malaria, leishmaniasis, human African trypanosomiasis, and Chagas disease that afflict the very poor in developing countries. DNDi also raises awareness about the need for greater R&D for neglected diseases and strengthens existing research capacity in disease-endemic countries. For further information, please consult

For further information, please contact
Terry Marquardt
Executive Director, Market Development
Tel: 1-919-544-8603

Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi)
Ann-Marie Sevcsik
Scientific Communications Manager
Tel: 1-646-258-8131; +41 79 814 9147