STRENGTHENING EXISTING CAPACITIES
Building strong R&D collaborations to answer the needs of filariasis patients In 2015, DNDi’s filariasis programme pursued its analysis of filariasis patients’ needs. Clinical expert meetings held in May and October resulted in the definition of a Target Product Profile (TPP) of a new treatment for onchocerciasis, and the team visited research centres in Cameroon to assess possible sites for clinical studies. The team also attended two meetings of the African Programme for Onchocerciasis Control (APOC), its 40th Technical Consultative Committee in Burkina Faso (March) and the APOC closure meeting at its Joint Action Forum in Uganda (December). Building strong R&D partnerships with disease experts is the first step towards answering patients’ needs quickly and efficiently. To reach this common objective, DNDi has started collaborations in 2015, notably with
the Department of Public Health of the University Medical Center of Rotterdam, the Netherlands for an epidemiological modelling study on onchocerciasis and lymphatic filariasis; with CEA/LETI, France and the Research Foundation in Tropical Diseases and the Environment, Cameroon (REFOTDE), for an optical, non-invasive approach for clinical studies on drug effectiveness
for onchocerciasis; with CEA / LETI, REFOTDE, the Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD), France, and the National Natural History Museum, France for research on biomarkers and surrogate endpoints, and has regular interactions with key stakeholders in clinical research for filarial diseases.
MISSION OF THE PLATFORMS
• Define patients’ needs, taking into consideration the local settings • Bring together key regional actors in the disease field, namely
representatives of ministries of health, national control programmes, regulatory authorities, academia, civil society groups, and pharmaceutical companies, as well as clinicians and health professionals
• Utilize, capitalize upon, and reinforce clinical capacities in endemic
regions, and address infrastructural requirements where necessary
• Provide on-site training in clinical research in sometimes very remote
• Contribute to regulatory processes, uptake, and sustainable access
of new treatments.
FOUNDED: 2014 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
This network was built to give support and strengthen capacities for the implementation of clinical trials for the evaluation of new therapeutic tools for leishmaniasis, according to GCP, and to promote technical and scientific information sharing between participants. RedeLEISH also aims to promote consensus on research priorities and on harmonization of clinical trial design and methodology, and to promote discussion on the R&D challenges in leishmaniasis and on strategies to ensure the public health impact of the new treatment options developed.
Over 70 representatives from 38 institutions in 8 Latin American countries (Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Guatemala, Mexico, Peru, Panama, Venezuela).
• Originally created as a Brazilian network, redeLEISH included reference centres and experts from other Latin American countries. • The second meeting was held in Medellin, Colombia with the collaboration of PECET (Programme for the Study and Control of Tropical Diseases/University of Antioquia), and Ruta N. 65 representatives from 35 institutions – namely PAHO, TDR/ WHO, FIOCRUZ, and the Colombian and Brazilian MoHs – attended to identify the capacity of clinical research in Latin America. The agenda included discussions on the target product profile of a rapid diagnostic test for cutaneous leishmaniasis. • A collaborative project for Leishmania species identification in three Brazilian States was implemented in 2015.
Second redeLEISH meeting in Medellin, Colombia.