Meeting opened by Ugandan Prime Minister convenes public & private sector partners from more than 40 countries
On 4 October 2018, DNDi held its 11th Partners’ Meeting in Kampala, Uganda. The meeting gathered together more than 400 partners and stakeholders from over 150 institutions and more than 40 countries, primarily African.
In early October, 18 journalists from 11 African countries converged in Kampala, Uganda for DNDi’s first-ever training on health and science journalism. The three-day training was conducted during a week of workshops and meetings related to the work of DNDi and its many partners, culminating in the 11th DNDi Partners’ Meeting on 4 October 2018.
New agreement between Clinical Research Malaysia & FIND on R&D for hepatitis C diagnostic tests continues an existing Malaysian partnership with DNDi for hepatitis C treatment
The Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND) and Clinical Research Malaysia (CRM), both DNDi partners, recently signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to collaborate in the research and development of an innovative hepatitis C diagnostic testing strategy.
Former DNDi Medical Director Dr Nathalie Strub-Wourgaft takes over leadership of NTD programme
DNDi is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr Nathalie Strub-Wourgaft as the new Director of Neglected Tropical Diseases. She will assume her new role as NTD Director and member of DNDi’s Executive Team as of 1 July 2018.
Yerko grew up in Bolivia in the small community of El Forestal in the east of the country. As a child, he and his family lived in a house with walls made of adobe bricks and a roof of palm leaves. Hidden inside the cracks and crevices in the walls and roof were kissing bugs. Yerko wanted to become a pharmacist to help people in need, but became a victim of Chagas disease.
“It just went completely white.” This is the how fisherman Akoyo Osumaka describes going blind in 2011, in the remote village of Babagulu in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). It was a slow, creeping blindness that began a year earlier. It robbed him of his livelihood and threw his family life into disarray.
The Japanese pharmaceutical company Astellas Pharma Inc. is the eighth pharmaceutical company to join the Neglected Tropical Diseases Drug Discovery Booster, a global consortium launched in 2015 by DNDi to speed up the process and cut the cost of finding new treatments for leishmaniasis and Chagas disease.
Phase II/III study results confirmed that fexinidazole, DNDi’s first new chemical entity is safe and effective, and presents significant advantages over current treatment as it removes the need for lumbar puncture and systematic patient hospitalization. A regulatory dossier has been submitted to the European Medicines Agency for fexinidazole as the first all-oral treatment for sleeping sickness.
Three new chemical entities entered the pre-clinical pipeline, bringing to six the number of new compounds progressing in the leishmaniasis portfolio, with two already nominated as clinical candidates to progress to Phase I. The first patient was recruited in India in Phase II studies to test new treatments for PKDL, while clinical sites were being prepared in Bangladesh and Sudan. A site was initiated in Sudan for a Phase III study to test a new combination treatment for leishmaniasis in the African region. In Latin America, a Phase II study on new combination treatments for cutaneous leishmaniasis progressed well.
Two Phase II trials are ongoing, with the study in Bolivia on benznidazole for improved treatment of chronic indeterminate Chagas disease having completed recruitment at the end of 2017, and a study in Spain in the early stages of patient recruitment to evaluate fexinidazole as Chagas treatment. A pilot project to increase access to diagnosis and treatment in five endemic communities in Colombia showed excellent interim results and will report one-year results in mid-2018. In 2018, DNDi and Fundación Mundo Sano will launch a new Chagas Disease Regional Access Framework.
A first-line “4-in-1” fixed-dose combination (abacavir/lamivudine/lopinavir/ritonavir) is on track to be submitted for registration in late 2018. Preliminary results from the LIVING study for an interim optimized paediatric formulation were presented at the end of 2017, showing that these “oral pellets” are effective, well tolerated and well accepted by caregivers and children.