DNDi

The Lancet Infectious Diseases published Phase 2 results on Tuesday comparing different durations and doses of benznidazole (a standard of care for Chagas disease) alone or in combination with the antifungal fosravuconazole. According to a press release from the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi), which led the study, a two-week benznidazole Chagas treatment had “similar efficacy and significantly fewer adverse effects” than the current standard eight-week regimen of the…

Japan’s Global Health Innovative Technology Fund announced $21 million in product development investments on Wednesday.

More than two-thirds of the awards will help advance six ongoing projects, while the rest fund four new investments: a leishmaniasis drug from Takeda and the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative; a malaria therapy from Eisai, the Medicines for Malaria Venture and the University of Dundee; a tuberculosis drug from Daiichi Sankyo RD Novare and the TB Alliance; and a…

TB Alliance announced a collaboration Monday with ZebiAI to discover, develop and deliver “better, faster-acting and affordable” tuberculosis drugs using the Massachusetts-based company’s machine learning platform.

The project joins a trend in global health: artificial intelligence-driven discoveries in recent years include potential Chagas treatments identified through a Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative collaboration and an MIT-discovered compound that kills a broad range of…

Sanofi announced an extension on Tuesday of its 20-year partnership with WHO on human African trypanosomiasis (HAT), valuing the new commitment at $25 million over the next five years.

The funds will support disease management, population screening, an awareness campaign, capacity building and drug donation, according to a press release.

Sanofi produces the current HAT standard-of-care—the oral, 10-day fexinidazole regimen—and is working with the Drugs for Neglected Diseases…

Mentions:

The state of the hunt:

The efficacy of AstraZeneca’s AZD1222 vaccine candidate may reach 90%, but critics questioned the reported results.
  New, more detailed data on Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine indicates 91.4% efficacy.
  Regeneron’s mAb cocktail secured U.S. FDA Emergency Use Authorization.

 

Vaccines


Phase 3 candidates

AstraZeneca’s two-shot vaccine regimen showed 90% efficacy when given at a lower dose and 62% efficacy as two full…

The Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi) announced new funding this week from Spain’s la Caixa: a grant of $1.2 million over three years to identify “novel natural products” as potentially effective treatments for leishmaniasis and Chagas disease.

DNDi will share the funding with project coordinator Fundación MEDINA and Institut Pasteur Korea, the joint press release said.

The Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi) announced Friday that it is working again with Sanofi to improve human African trypanosomiasis (HAT) treatment. DNDi and Sanofi successfully licensed their first 10-day HAT regimen, fexinidazole, in November 2018.

This new collaboration will see DNDi complete clinical development of its novel drug acoziborole—taken as a single dose at the point of diagnosis and currently in Phase 2/3 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Guinea.…

The world saw its 1 millionth case this week as companies continued to pursue Covid-19 solutions and many moved to scale up capacity.

Essential developments included:

Vaccines

On vaccines, Johnson & Johnson pledged this week that it would bring an “affordable” Covid-19 shot to the public “on a not-for-profit basis” for emergency pandemic use. It announced it has identified a lead candidate—Ad26 SARS-CoV-2—plus two investigational “backups,” and said it has begun scaling…

The Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi) and Novartis announced yesterday that they have agreed to jointly develop LXE408, a first-in-class compound discovered by Novartis, with financial support from the Wellcome Trust, as a potential new oral treatment for visceral leishmaniasis.

Under the terms of the deal, Novartis will be responsible for Phase 1 trials, regulatory submissions, and “affordable” distribution of the drug. DNDi will lead Phase 2 and 3 development, with the…

Cipla will price its new, child-friendly, four-drug antiretroviral (ARV) below $1 a day—potentially as low as 50 cents a day for infants and younger children—the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi) announced last week.

Cipla and DNDi developed the novel, heat-stable combination of WHO-approved ARVs (abacavir, lamivudine, lopinavir and ritonavir), which tastes better than the refrigeration-dependent standard of care. Unitaid funded development of the drug, Quadrimune, and…