French health care company Sanofi has announced a three-year research collaboration agreement with Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative or DNDi, an independent, nonprofit product development partnership, according to RTT News.
DNDi, formed in 2003, is working to research and develop new treatments for neglected diseases such as Chagas disease, malaria, pediatric HIV and specific helminth-related infections.
DNDi was established by the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation from Brazil, the Indian Council for Medical Research, the Kenya Medical Research Institute, the Ministry of Health of Malaysia, Pasteur Institute and Médecins sans Frontières. World Health Organization's tropical disease research program, TDR, acts as a permanent observer to DNDi.
Sanofi said the agreement is built on a previous successful collaboration between Sanofi and DNDi. The two will research new treatments for nine neglected tropical diseases listed by the World Health Organization.
These diseases are kinetoplastid diseases (leishmaniases, Chagas disease and human African trypanosomiasis), helminth infections (lymphatic filariasis, onchocerciasis and soil-transmitted helminthiasis), and dracunculiasis, fascioliasis and schistosomiasis.
In endemic countries, new, effective tools are urgently required to treat patients with these diseases.
Sanofi, which has been involved in tropical diseases since the 1940s, will initially bring molecules from its libraries into the partnership, and the parties will jointly research on innovative molecular scaffolds.
The core of the agreement is the management of intellectual property generated through the collaboration, the company noted. Sanofi and DNDi will co-own the rights to results produced by the partnership.
Further, the partnership will publish results to ensure access to the wider community of researchers focusing on neglected tropical diseases. The public sector also will benefit from the drugs developed.