[Rio de Janeiro, 23 September 2012]
At the opening ceremony of the XVIII International Congress for Tropical Medicines and Malaria (ICTMM) and the XLVIII Congress of the Brazilian Society of Tropical Medicine in Rio de Janeiro, the Ministry of Health of Brazil signed a Cooperation and Technical Assistance Agreement with the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (FIOCRUZ) and the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi) Latin America, uniting the three actors in a strategic partnership to collaborate on research and development (R&D) for new therapies and diagnostics for neglected diseases.
Brazil’s Secretary of Science and Technology Carlos Gadelha, FIOCRUZ President Paulo Gadelha, and DNDi Latin America Director Eric Stobbaerts signed the agreement in the presence of the 1,000-plus attendees of the Congress. By committing resources to this partnership, the Ministry of Health will carry out its neglected-disease R&D strategy defined earlier this year. The strategy aims to boost innovation in the field of neglected diseases and provide new health tools to Brazil’s public health programmes.
‘We are proud to be part of this strategic partnership that will enable DNDi and its Brazilian founding partner FIOCRUZ to coordinate and strengthen efforts to address the urgent needs of patients suffering from neglected diseases in the region’, said Eric Stobbaerts, Director of DNDi Latin America. ‘This agreement will pave the way for this new R&D mechanism, led by Brazil, to bring local innovation to global public health.’
The Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi) is a not-for-profit research and development organization working to deliver new treatments for neglected diseases, in particular sleeping sickness (human African trypanosomiasis), Chagas disease, leishmaniasis, specific helminth infections, malaria, and paediatric 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.
Mariana Abdalla [Português, Español, English]
DNDi Latin America
Mobile: +55 (21) 8108 2466
Oliver Yun [English]
DNDi North America