[Geneva, Switzerland, 11 December 2012] The Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative welcomes the announcement by UNITAID to grant up to USD 17.3 million to the organization for its paediatric HIV programme. The grant, to be disbursed over three years, will enable DNDi and partners to build on the advances made in the field of paediatric HIV to date, and drive specific research and development to deliver child-adapted ARV formulations that do not require refrigeration, are easy-to-administer and palatable, with simplified dosing, and which can be given to children co-infected with tuberculosis.
'This support from UNITAID is an encouraging sign that DNDi and our partners are on the right path, and we will stay focused in our efforts to ensure that adapted treatments reach the kids that need them', said Dr Bernard Pécoul, Executive Director of DNDi. 'Timely delivery, adoption, and uptake will be key to saving the lives of the youngest children with HIV/AIDS', he added.
DNDi entered into the field of paediatric HIV in 2011 and, earlier this year, announced a partnership agreement with the Indian drug manufacturer Cipla to develop adapted 4-in-1 ARV formulations for children with HIV/AIDS under three years of age.
Click here to see a short clip, 'Paediatric HIV: The Reality of a Neglected Disease', which follows a South African mother of a child with HIV, and demonstrates the difficulties encountered while administering current treatments.
The Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi) is a not-for-profit research and development organization working to deliver new treatments for neglected diseases, in particular human African trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness), Chagas disease, leishmaniasis, specific helminth infections, and paediatric HIV. DNDi was established in 2003 by Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation from Brazil, the Indian Council of Medical Research, the Kenya Medical Research Institute, the Ministry of Health of Malaysia, and the Institut Pasteur of France. The WHO Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases (TDR) serves as a permanent observer. Since 2003, DNDi has delivered six new treatments for malaria, sleeping sickness, visceral leishmaniasis, and Chagas disease.
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