Pfizer, DNDi to tackle tropical diseases

Pfizer and the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi) recently announced that they have signed an agreement that will potentially lead to the discovery of compounds to treat human African trypanosomiasis (HAT), visceral leishmaniasis (VL) and Chagas disease--all of which afflict vulnerable populations in the developing world.

Under the agreement, scientists at DNDi-affiliated institutions will have access to at least 150,000 compounds in the Pfizer library that they can test against the parasites that cause HAT, VL and Chagas Disease. These novel chemical entities haven't been explored for kinetoplastid diseases, Shing Chang, R&D director at DNDi, says in a statement.

Separately, DNDi also reported that it has received a $15 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to undertake clinical development of a new medicine to treat HAT. The grant will be disbursed to DNDi over five years and will provide funding for the fexinidazole project, which is being conducted in collaboration with Sanofi-Aventis.   

- read the Pfizer, DNDi release
- read the DNDi release on the Gates Foundation funding