After supporting an early-stage research project for Chagas disease, the Global Health Innovative Technology (GHIT) Fund has announced its renewed commitment to fund the next steps of the collaborative project of DNDi and Daiichi Sankyo. The two partners are progressing a lead optimization project on promising compounds series – all of which were previously identified through a GHIT-supported screening venture – with the objective of developing a totally new, oral, safe, and effective treatment for people affected by Chagas disease.
The new funding of EUR 3.58 million (JPY 431.85 million) will support the two-year project, which aims to identify one optimized lead candidate for Chagas disease.
GHIT has been a DNDi supporter since 2013, supporting R&D projects for several neglected diseases in addition to Chagas disease, including visceral leishmaniasis, cutaneous leishmaniasis, and mycetoma. GHIT also supports innovative research mechanisms, such as DNDi’s NTD Drug Discovery Booster.
About Chagas disease
Chagas disease, also known as American trypanosomiasis, is a potentially life-threatening illness caused by the Trypanosoma cruzi parasite. About 6 to 7 million people worldwide are estimated to be infected mainly in Latin American countries where the disease is endemic.
Currently available treatments are more than 40 years old, and while they show good efficacy in the acute phase, they need to be used in long regimens and cause significant side effects. None of the existing treatments are safe to use during pregnancy, which is an important unmet medical need. The project aims to address these challenges.