Leishmaniasis East Africa Platform (LEAP)
Founded: 2003, Khartoum, Sudan
The LEAP platform aims to strengthen clinical research capacity, which is lacking in part due to the remoteness and geographic spread of the patients, most of whom live in the most impoverished regions of Africa. The platform also is a base for ongoing educational cooperation between the countries in the East African region and standardization of procedures and practices within the region, as far as is possible within the confines of local
regulations. LEAP evaluates, validates, and registers new treatments that address regional needs for visceral leishmaniasis.
‘The Good Clinical Practice training presented me with a chance to not only expand my knowledge and skills but also handle study participants appropriately. It is a positive step towards becoming a globally certified clinical trial expert. ’
- 5 clinical trial sites were active in Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, and Sudan.
- 163 people were trained, including investigators, lab technicians, nurses, and pharmacists, on Good Clinical Practice, Good Financial Practice, and DHIS2, an open-source data platform to manage health information.
- Supported the launch of the revised visceral leishmaniasis treatment guidelines in Kenya, with SSG&PM as first-line treatment, and supported the revision of visceral leishmaniasis guidelines in Uganda.
- Launched the 10-institution AfriKADIA Consortium in Ethiopia, whose main objective is to find improved treatments and diagnostic tools for visceral leishmaniasis in eastern Africa.
- 5 clinical trial sites were active and 1 under construction in Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, and Sudan
- Outside of the clinical trials, 1,084 people were treated and 2,898 were screened
- Following the dissemination of the HIV/VL study results, support for the development of a new policy by WHO
- Results from the HIV VL LEAP 0511 clinical trial were presented during a meeting with the Ethiopian authorities and key stakeholders in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
- Stakeholders meetings were held in Amudat in Uganda and Kacheliba, in West Pokot county in Kenya to disseminate the results of the LEAP 0208 and LEAP 0714 clinical trials. The results showed that miltefosine is safe in children and that treatment outcome is improved when allometric dosing is used. Community leaders including elders, political and religious leaders, and health workers attended the meetings.
- The LEAP members participated in the WorldLeish-6 congress held in Toledo, Spain, the “City of Three Cultures, from 16-20 May, 2017. The meeting is an international congress on leishmaniasis. It is is held every four years in a leishmaniasis-endemic country.
- LEAP presented a total of eight abstracts for both oral and poster presentations and participated in a parallel session on platforms for the research and control of leishmaniasis. The 24th LEAP meeting was hosted on 15 May, 2017, at the sidelines of the WorldLeish 6 congress. This year, the meeting was keen on discussing and reviewing current and planned activities. “KEEP MOVING FORWARD”, was the theme of this first meeting after the launch of LEAP 2.0, a restructuring of the platform to enable it adjust to the expanding clinical trial needs in the region.
- The meeting was attended by 56 participants including LEAP members, representatives from the World Health Organization (WHO), Infectious Diseases Data Observatory (IDDO) and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), and members of the DNDi Rio team, who are members of the redeLEISH Platform, a network that brings together leishmaniasis experts in Latin America.
- Dr Jose Postigo, the WHO Head of the Leishmaniasis Control Programme gave the key note address on ‘Leishmaniasis in Africa: Is elimination possible? The WHO approach‘, concluding that there was still a lot more to be done in controlling leishmaniasis before embarking on elimination in eastern Africa.
New platform & training
- The Infectious Disease Data Observatory (IDDO) visceral leishmaniasis (VL) data sharing platform was officially launched during the 24th LEAP meeting. IDDO, a pioneering VL data repository, is an initiative of a team from Oxford University in partnership with DNDi.
- 120 people were trained, including investigators, lab technicians, nurses, and pharmacists on Good Clinical Practice and Others received training on how to better communicate on their projects. Financial support for seven long-term trainings (Master’s degrees or diplomas) was also provided.
- The LEAP Platform handled 6 clinical trial sites in Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, and Sudan, as well as maintaining clinical trial sites even though they were not involved in R&D activities. Outside of the trials, 1,156 people were treated, and 3,069 screened.
- Launch of LEAP 2.0: the platform was restructured to adjust to expanding clinical trial needs in the region; with expansion of disease areas – from VL only to CL and PKDL – extension of member countries (Eritrea, South Sudan, Somalia), and for a focus on new areas of activities (access, Phase I studies, data sharing)
- The 22nd LEAP meeting took place in Khartoum, Sudan in October 2015, with 68 participants, alongside the 22nd LEAP Principal Investigators (PIs) Meeting and the first Project Advisory Committee (PAC) of the AfriCoLeish Project ‘new combination treatments for VL in Africa’ and fexinidazole studies were completed.
- Bahir Dar, Ethiopia and Geneva, Switzerland – 1 October 2014
Results of large-scale roll out of combination treatment for Kala-azar in Eastern Africa points to urgency to treat disease victims as outbreak surges in South Sudan.
- Geneva – 22 November 2004
DNDi clinical trials for paromomycin begin in Sudan.