August 13, 2013, S. Korea....... A collaboration between the Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative (DNDi) and the Institut Pasteur Korea (IP-K) to spur the fight against neglected diseases has been established.
IP-K and DNDi have entered into a Master Research Agreement for collaboration in identification and development of safe, effective and affordable new treatments for patients suffering from neglected diseases. Under the terms of agreement, both parties will conduct various research programs including Leishmaniasis and Chagas disease for next two years.
According to the recent report from WHO, currently, leishmaniasis is responsible for estimated 20,000 to 30,000 deaths annually and about 7 to 8 million people worldwide are estimated to suffer from Chagas disease. However, the use of existing treatments are limited due to field-adaptability, drug resistance, toxicity or high price. Therefore, the necessity for development of new drugs that effectively treat the diseases and are adapted and affordable to the populations affected by the diseases is vital. This agreement constitutes a unique combination of DNDi's advanced knowledge and resources in the field of neglected diseases research with IP-K's innovative drug discovery technology and capabilities. Under this agreement, DNDi will provide access to targeted chemical diversity for IP-K to employ its visual-based high throughput screening technology, PhenomicScreenTM, in order to accelerate identification of promising drug candidates. Both organizations will also make available internal expertise and access to its own global networks to increase the chance to establish new joint research programs within the public domain.
Building on an initial partnership to work together in finding new therapeutics for neglected diseases in 2007, both organizations have successfully developed new assays and identified new hit compounds effective against leishmaniasis. The proven success of the joint research effort has prompted both parties to undertake a more committed and long standing partnership.
Dr. Michele Liuzzi, the CEO of IP-K, said, "This exciting new partnership with DNDi will provide the impetus to accelerate the development of urgently needed drugs to treat neglected diseases."
"Thanks to our past collaboration with IPK, important technological advancements were made in the field of neglected tropical disease research, notably through effective high throughput screening", said Dr Bernard Pécoul, Executive Director, DNDi. "IPK is an important actor in the field of R&D for these diseases."