Compound Studied in TB to be Evaluated in the Treatment of Leishmaniasis

Wellcome commits £10 million to DNDi to develop new generation of oral drugs to treat leishmaniasis

February 5, 2019

NEW YORK (February 5, 2019) – TB Alliance applauds the Wellcome Trust’s commitment of over £10 million to the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi), a not-for-profit product development partnership (PDP) to develop new treatments for leishmaniasis, one of the world’s most devastating parasitic diseases.

The partnership will leverage the strengths of R&D partners to develop a portfolio of drug candidates originating from different chemical classes with different mechanisms of action against leishmania parasites. One of these drug candidates, DNDI-0690, is the result of a royalty-free license granted by TB Alliance to DNDi in 2010 for the development of nitroimidazoles for multiple neglected diseases, including leishmaniasis.

More than one billion people worldwide are at risk of leishmaniasis, which is transmitted by the bite of a sandfly. Visceral leishmaniasis is the most serious form of the disease, causing fever, weight loss, spleen and liver enlargement and, if left untreated, death. Up to 90,000 new cases and close to 30,000 deaths are reported each year. Another form of the disease, cutaneous leishmaniasis, with 600,000 to 1 million new cases every year, can lead to disfiguration and stigmatization for people affected. Currently, patients must undergo treatments that have serious drawbacks in terms of safety, duration, resistance, stability and cost.

For more information about the partnership between Wellcome and DNDi, please see here.

Photo courtesy of: Graham Crouch/DNDi