VL Strategy
In the Media
Clinical Projects
Clinical Projects
Clinical Projects
Kala Azar
Drug Discovery
Access to Treatments
DNDi News

LEAP: A Step Together
in the Right Direction

The goals of LEAP are: to facilitate clinical testing and registration of new treatments for VL (Ethiopia, Kenya, Sudan and Uganda); to facilitate the development of national treatment guidelines for East Africa; evaluate, validate and register improved options that address regional needs for VL; and provide capacity strengthening for drug evaluation and clinical studies. All its members are actively engaged in research, treatment, or policy and regulatory decisions, and meet twice a year to discuss regional issues and to drive forward an R&D agenda pertaining to VL, facilitated by DNDi.


SUDAN: 2 sites
Kassab, Dooka

Univ. of Khartoum
Federal Ministry of Health
Dr Ahmed Mudawi Musa of the Institute for Endemic Diseases, and LEAP Chair, Sudan:
“As important as the effort to find a new drug or a combination of drugs to treat VL is, LEAP is addressing other critical issues associated with clinical research for neglected populations: capacity building with excellent training of African scientists and support staff, and concrete community participation in development and infrastructure strengthening in rural areas. With the help of LEAP and DNDi, we have facilities that allow us to serve the unprivileged and marginalised communities with medicines at the village level at the Kassab Hospital and Dookah Centre.”

ETHIOPIA: 2 sites
Gondar, Arba Minch
Addis Ababa Univ.
Gondar Univ.
Ministry of Health
Dr Asrat Hailu, Faculty of Medicine, Addis Ababa University Ethiopia:
“The LEAP group, funded and facilitated by DNDi in Geneva, has begun the journey together to identify a new drug or a combination of drugs to effectively treat VL in this region and also to determine what might be the cause of the regional differences in clinical response seen in the paromomycin clinical trial.
A lot of effort and expertise has gone into this project, with close attention to detail and active follow-up.”

KENYA: 2 sites
Nairobi, Kimalel
Ministry of Health
Dr Monique Wasunna, Assistant Director, Research, KEMRI and Director of DNDi Africa, Nairobi, Kenya:
“VL patients in this region are waiting and we have to work more efficiently. Combining existing treatments to meet those urgent needs could potentially offer better and practical life-saving treatments. As founding member and former Chair of LEAP, I would say, the advantages of a functional framework such as LEAP are numerous. At the operational level, it strengthens existing capacities for conducting clinical trials in the region in terms of infrastructure and personnel. All VL clinical trials are carried out under the auspices of the LEAP Platform, thereby ensuring that there is no overlap and that time is used optimally to get meaningful results. Governments of VL disease-endemic areas readily give the necessary support to the platform because they form part of it.”

UGANDA: 1 site
Makerere Univ.
Ministry of Health
Dr Joseph Olobo, Associate Professor, Makerere University, Department of Medical Microbiology, Uganda:
“We in Uganda are very excited to be a part of LEAP and its clinical research activities.
It is important that researchers tackle regional issues together, and we look forward to working with local and regional governments, politicians, and policymakers to ensure that patients have better access to better health facilities and to improved treatments. It’s a long journey, but LEAP has the expertise and presence on the ground to make a solid impact.”

Published by Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative - 15 Chemin Louis-Dunant 1202 Geneva Switzerland - Photo credits: DNDi unless otherwise stated - Editor: Sadia Kaenzig - Tel: +41 22 906 9230 - Fax: +41 22 906 9231 - www.dndi.org