New Drugs Against Tropical Diseases

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Scientists from the Center for drug development at the University of Dundee (DDU) in collaboration with colleagues from York University and the Consortium of Genomics in Toronto reached new heights in the treatment of deadly diseases, annually infects tens of thousands of Africans. Their findings, published in leading international scientific journal Nature, describe a new method of treatment (HAT) African trypanosomiasis, better known as sleeping sickness, caused by parasites that penetrate into the brain – ingestion of low-toxicity drugs. “This is one of the most important advances made in recent years in the field of drug development, especially for lesser-known diseases,” – said Professor Paul Wyatt, founder of the program of drug development for tropical diseases at the University of Dundee, – “Now that we have, firstly, target for HAT and, secondly, the possibility of an oral dose. These two factors can modify the drug to Phase I clinical trials. As long as it treats only the initial extent of disease, but this time in the future – treatment of the second degree. ” It is believed that the drug will be ready for clinical trials in approximately half of the year. Dr. Shing Chang, director of product development for the little-known disease, says: “This discovery – a good example showing the application of scientific knowledge in contributing to public support for improving the situation of patients in developing countries.”

World Health Organization statistics showed that about 50-70 thousand people are infected with a disease transmitted by the bite of the tsetse fly (Africa, rn Sahara). We have two stages of the disease, the latter of which are particularly difficult to treat in the poorest areas, where, in general, and living victims. Of the two, the currently available drugs, one (based on arsenic) has a fatal side effects in about 5% of cases, the second – is an expensive drug, requires long-term inpatient treatment is effective and not in all cases. The number of refusals to use this drug continues to grow, which causes some concern about the possible lack of effective treatments for this deadly disease. In response to this need DDU quickly developed compounds that were effective to kill the parasites in the initial stages of the disease. The compositions of destroying chemical called N-myristoyl (NMT) – vitally important for the growth and development of parasites. “The process of drug development involves many difficulties – first you need to define the” Achilles heel “of the parasite, then – to create a structure that could kill him, and in the end – make sure that the structure is safe for the patient” – says Professor Wyatt, – “We are now located on the third stage. ” “We are interested in the fact that our study has helped to create the drug. This is very important for the development of methodologies and little-known treatment of specific diseases “- shared Professor Smith. “Our initial goal was to develop a simple and safe oral treatment for early stage disease,” – explained Professor Alan Ferlemb DDU, – «But we are pleased to be able to advance to the second.” Unfortunately, African sleeping sickness – a very little understood and therefore not of interest to large pharmaceutical companies in Africa because patients simply can not afford necessary medicines. Single point of drug development was established in 2005 specifically for this purpose – to investigate the disease in developing countries, such as African trypanosomiasis, leishmaniasis, Chagas disease, etc. “Now for the big pharmaceutical companies have little economic incentive for their participation in disease control in Africa” ​​- added Prof. Fermlemb – “we have noticed that they are interested in markets in Asia and Latin America welcome this positive change in their relation to specific diseases. In the future, as soon as our preparations will be necessary clinical trials, we look forward to fruitful cooperation. ”


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