Two fixed-dose artemisinin combination therapies (ACTs) developed by Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi) and partners, artesunate-amodiaquine (ASAQ) and artesunate-mefloquine (ASMQ), will now be managed by MMV’s Access and Product Management team to help maximize their impact for the patients who need them most.
[30 April 2015]
An estimated 3.3 million children under 15 years of age were living with HIV worldwide in 2012. During that one year alone, some 260,000 children were infected with HIV (over 90% of these were in sub-Saharan Africa). A further 210,000 died of the disease, the vast majority before reaching the age of two and without having been diagnosed. Most of these deaths could have been avoided had diagnosis been carried out in the first weeks of infection and treatment immediately commenced. While the absolute number of infants newly infected with HIV is now declining due to international efforts made in prevention of mother to child transmission, the need for paediatric treatment will continue to increase at least until 2020.
The Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative congratulates the team of researchers at the University of Bonn-Hospital for the Memento Research Award 2015. The research group of Prof. Achim Hörauf from the University of Bonn has received this prize awarded by a group of NGOs for their research into the development of a therapy for the neglected disease `lymphatic filariasis`.
The Consortium for the Control and Elimination of Visceral Leishmaniasis, known as KalaCORE, is a new partnership between the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative, the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Médecins Sans Frontières and Mott MacDonald. The consortium has been appointed by the Department for International Development (DFID) to tackle Visceral Leishmaniasis (VL) in South Asia and East Africa.
Leishmaniasis is transmitted by the bite of a sand fly. It is a complex disease with over a million new cases occurring every year and 350 million people living at risk worldwide in 98 countries. The disease presents several different forms, the most common of which are visceral leishmaniasis (VL), which is fatal without treatment, and cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL).
Chagas disease is transmitted by the ‘kissing bug’ and also by blood transfusion, organ transplantation and congenital transmission. The disease is endemic in 21 countries in Latin America, where 100 million people are at risk.
Filarial diseases include onchocerciasis (also known as River Blindness), lymphatic filariasis (also known as elephantiasis), and loiasis. They are caused by parasitic worms which are transmitted by insect vectors to humans, mainly in Africa and Southeast Asia. About 168 million people are infected by the three diseases.
Human African trypanosomiasis (HAT), also known as ‘sleeping sickness’, is transmitted by the tsetse fly. While currently its prevalence is declining, HAT is still a threat to millions of people across Sub-Saharan Africa with 83% (2013) of all cases in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
Malaria is transmitted by mosquitoes. It kills one child every 30 seconds in sub-Saharan Africa and is the leading parasitic cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. 3.2 billion people are at risk. DNDi with its partners have delivered two fixed-dose combination (FDC) of the five artemisinin-based drugs (ACTs), FDC’s that were recommended by WHO for the treatment of uncomplicated falciparum malaria.
HIV is transmitted to children during pregnancy, delivery and through breastfeeding. An estimated 3.3 million children below the age of 15 were living with HIV in 2012, more than 90% of whom were in Sub-Saharan Africa.
The Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi) sends its sincerest condolences to the families, friends, and loved ones of those on board Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17.
Filaria is a group of neglected tropical diseases infecting over 150 million people in sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, and Latin America. The two main filarial diseases, onchocerciasis (river blindness) and lymphatic filariasis (elephantiasis), devastate the lives of patients, causing debilitating symptoms and social discrimination. In March 2014, DNDi traveled to rural Ghana to meet and interview patients with filaria and the physician-researchers treating them.
A new paper recently commissioned by DNDi to examine the possibilities of creating a pooled international R&D fund for the Demonstration Projects that were selected as part of the process following on the report of the WHO Consultative Expert Working Group on Research and Development (CEWG): “Demonstration Financing: Considerations for a Pilot Pooled International Fund for R&D.”
On 7 April 2014, the Director-General: Health, Ms P Matsoso and the Executive Director: DNDi, Dr Bernard Pécoul, signed a Partnership Agreement on Improving Access to Paediatric HIV Treatment in South Africa. DNDi’s paediatric HIV project, in partnership with Cipla Ltd., and with the support of the UNITAID, in addition to the French Development Agency (AFD), Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF), and the UBS Optimus Foundation, is to develop two 4-in-1 lopinavir-based fixed dose combinations as well as a solid formulation of ritonavir booster that are suitable for young children infected with HIV, as well as with tuberculosis and HIV. These formulations, ultimately, will be in solid ‘granular’ form that is palatable and requires no refrigeration, alleviating much of the current treatment burden on the children, their mothers and caregivers, and healthcare workers.
One of the most important achievements of DNDi Latin America is the beginning of the Lead Optimization Latin America project (LOLA), with a focus on the first steps of Research & Development (R&D) for new medicines: the discovery of new compounds. This is a crucial step in the expansion of R&D projects in the region.