In 2011, Sanofi and DNDi launched a partnership for the research of new treatments for nine neglected tropical diseases (NTDs), listed by the World Health Organization (WHO) for which new, adapted, and efficient tools are urgently needed to treat patients in endemic countries: kinetoplastid diseases (leishmaniasis, Chagas disease, and human African trypanosomiasis), helminth infections (lymphatic filariasis, onchocerciasis, and soil-transmitted helminthiasis), and dracunculiasis, fascioliasis, and schistosomiasis.
In the framework of this agreement, Sanofi brings molecules from its libraries into the partnership, while DNDi and Sanofi collaborate in research activities on innovative molecular scaffolds. The core of the agreement lies in the innovative management of intellectual property generated through the collaboration. The rights to results produced by this partnership will be co-owned by Sanofi and DNDi. 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.
Since April 2009, Sanofi and DNDi have been working together to develop Fexinidazole, a new and promising drug for the treatment of human African trypanosomiasis (HAT), also known as sleeping sickness. Current therapeutic options are either poorly tolerated or difficult to administer, notably for advanced-stage HAT disease. The development of a new, orally-administered treatment that matches the efficacy of current treatments and improves tolerance will be a major progress.