The Japanese pharmaceutical company Astellas Pharma Inc. is the eighth pharmaceutical company to join the Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTD) Drug Discovery Booster, a global consortium launched in 2015 by DNDi to speed up the process and cut the cost of finding new treatments for leishmaniasis and Chagas disease.
Astellas becomes the fourth Japanese partner in the NTD Booster, and will be joining AbbVie Inc., AstraZeneca plc., Celgene Corporation, Eisai Co. Ltd., Merck, Shionogi & Co. Ltd., and Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited.
Pharmaceutical companies who join the Booster conduct a multilateral, simultaneous search of the millions of compounds in their compound libraries based on an active seed compound supplied by DNDi. The most interesting compounds are tested and fed back into the process, refining the search in an iterative manner.
After three years of operations, the Booster project has identified and launched further work on 17 different seed compounds, while eight “hit” series have been expanded and will move into further studies.
DNDi is grateful to acknowledge the support of the Japanese Global Health Innovative Technology Fund which today announced its third grant to this project, providing an additional EUR 1.2 million/ JPY 158 million to support the NTD Booster activities.
A not-for-profit R&D organization, DNDi works to deliver new treatments for neglected patients living with leishmaniasis, human African trypanosomiasis, Chagas disease, specific filarial infections, paediatric HIV, mycetoma, and hepatitis C. DNDi is actively engaged in developing new treatments and screening new compounds, notably for Chagas disease and leishmaniasis. www.dndi.org
Astellas Pharma Inc., based in Tokyo, Japan, is a company dedicated to improving the health of people around the world through the provision of innovative and reliable pharmaceutical products. Astellas focuses on Urology, Oncology, Immunology, Nephrology and Neuroscience as prioritized therapeutic areas while advancing new therapeutic areas and discovery research leveraging new technologies/modalities. It is also creating new value by combining internal capabilities and external expertise in the medical/healthcare business. Astellas is on the forefront of healthcare change to turn innovative science into value for patients. For more information: https://www.astellas.com/en.
Photo credit: Felipe Abondano-DNDi