The only way is up!
When DNDi decided to work to bring new, effective and affordable drugs to people debilitated and dying from neglected diseases, it lost no time. We pulled out all the stops and moved forward through the complicated terrain of drug research and development (R&D). Today, as a result of a balancing act between wise decision-making and speed, we are well on the way to delivering two new anti-malarial artesunate combinations by 2006. The new combinations artesunate amodiaquine and artesunate mefloquine bring the hope of effective treatment to millions affected by this fatal disease. By 2006, physicians in Africa, Latin America and Asia will be able to treat malaria patients with a greater degree of success.

In keeping with DNDi’s goals, the combinations will be easier to use and more affordable. The drugs were developed through a close working relationship with expert partners from Brazil, Malaysia, Thailand, Burkina Faso, France, the United Kingdom, and Germany; with Sanofi-Aventis; and with financial support from Médecins Sans Frontières, the European Union, and WHO/TDR.

DNDi is also forging ahead on other drug development projects for leishmaniasis, sleeping sickness and Chagas disease. We now have 18 projects in our portfolio, 10 in the discovery stage of the pipeline, three in preclinical development, and five in clinical development.

Over the last few years, the world has grown more aware of the lack of effective treatments for diseases of poorer regions versus the abundance of new treatments available for diseases in rich countries. New research initiatives such as DNDi, MMV, and TB Alliance have sprung up to address this imbalance. Their operational model is grounded in active collaboration with partners from the north and south.

To succeed in their endeavours these initiatives are urgently seeking financial and political support from governments, as the support of private donors and foundations, though extremely important, is not sufficient.

2005 is the year that the G8, the European Union, and the United Nations deliberate on issues that affect the poor and define their priorities for research. DNDi believes that governments of wealthy countries must prioritise the development of new medicines for people suffering from neglected diseases. While they make up their minds, millions of lives hang in the balance.

Bernard Pecoul
Executive Director DNDi
Published by Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative
1 Place St Gervais 1201 Geneva Switzerland
Editor: Jaya Banerji - Tel: +41 22 906 9230 - Fax: +41 22 906 9231 - www.dndi.org