In September 2013, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative (DNDi) signed a two-year extension, with the possibility of an additional third year, of their current research collaboration agreement to develop new therapeutics for Leishmaniasis, Human African Trypanosomiasis and Chagas disease. Patients urgently need better treatments as the existing ones are not suitable due to the emergence of parasite resistance, their severe side effects and toxicity, costs or non-suitable routes of administration.
Under the terms of the agreement, DNDi and GSK will jointly exploit hits identified through GSK’s internal high throughput screening efforts vs. Leishmania donovani, Trypanosoma cruzi and Trypanosoma brucei. DNDi will contribute with up to 12 chemistry FTEs from their own consortia in addition to the 2 matching FTEs at Tres Cantos. The scope of the agreement has been expanded to the identification of preclinical activities and will include testing of identified hit(s) in the corresponding animal models in order to evaluate their in vivo efficacy and further progression of efficacious compounds in Lead Optimization programs.
The partners will facilitate publication of the results to ensure access to the wider community of researchers focusing on NTDs. The public sector will benefit from the drugs developed through this agreement under the best possible conditions to ease access for patients in all endemic countries, irrespective of their level of economic development.