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.
DNDi and GARDP have issued a call for nominations for a new Board member who would also serve as Treasurer of the Board.
Can post-kala-azar dermal leishmaniasis threaten progress against kala-azar?
Hidden in the mountains, forests, and pastures of the central Andean region in Colombia are small, remote communities where Chagas disease still takes a heavy toll.
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.
Daiichi Sankyo RD Novare and DNDi are pleased to announce the financial support of the Japan Global Health Innovative Technology Fund to their new collaboration on natural products.
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.
The portfolio of potential filaricidal treatments continues to progress, with emodepside (Bayer) and the antibiotic TylAMac (AbbVie) that have entered healthy volunteer Phase I studies with other pre-clinical candidates.
The first-ever double-blind, randomized clinical trial for eumycetoma (fungal mycetoma), being conducted in Sudan, had enrolled 20 patients by the end of 2017. The primary objective of the study is to demonstrate the superiority of fosravuconazole over the current treatment, itraconazole.
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.
All 301 patients in DNDi’s Phase II/III trial combining ravidasvir and sofosbuvir in Malaysia and Thailand have completed treatment. Top-line results are being analysed and will be published in April 2018.
Jessica was the last member of her family to come to Los Angeles from El Salvador in search of a better life. She came from a small village and remembers seeing chinches – kissing bugs – on the floor of the adobe house where she lived as a child.
She was bitten but thought nothing of it.
Dr Robert Don, Discovery and Pre-Clinical Director at DNDi (2005-2017), reflects on challenges and achievements in drug discovery at DNDi over the last 12 years.
From drug-resistant gonorrhoea in the US to sleeping sickness in Africa, the need to develop effective and affordable treatments has driven our work in every corner of the globe. Revisit the highlights of our year at the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative.
The journey to the sleeping sickness trial site in Isangi from the DNDi office in Kinshasa begins in the domestic airport of DRC’s capital city and ends more than a day later halfway across the country in a barge crossing the Congo river. In between: hours spent navigating potholed dirt roads, collapsed bridges, checkpoints, and multiple river crossings. Once at Isangi, canoes must be used to reach many of the patients as there are no roads.
Yet for DNDi’s clinical team in DRC, Isangi is one of the easier-to-reach sites. The DRC and the Central African Republic (CAR) both pose daunting challenges that must be overcome to develop better treatments for patients suffering from sleeping sickness.
A l’occasion de l’Evénement économique 2017 du 9 novembre dernier, la Chambre de commerce, d’industrie et des services de Genève (CCIG), le Département de la sécurité et de l’économie (DSE) et l’Office de Promotion des Industries et des Technologies (OPI) ont décerné le Prix 2017 de l’innovation à l’initiative Médicaments contre les Maladies Négligées (DNDi).