The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) recently renewed its support for the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi), allocating a total of CHF 8 million (EUR 7.3 million) for the period 2021-2024 to support research and development (R&D) for new treatments for neglected diseases that affect the world’s most vulnerable people.
The SDC has supported DNDi since 2005 and has been a prominent contributor to R&D for neglected diseases since the late 1990s through its support for numerous product development partnerships (PDPs), including DNDi. Switzerland’s Federal Council recently launched its 2021-2024 international cooperation strategy, which identifies health as a key objective, with a focus on saving lives, reducing health inequities, and providing quality basic health services.
‘Neglected tropical diseases mainly affect the most vulnerable and marginalized populations: people living in remote rural areas, urban slums, or conflict zones. With our core contribution for the next four years, Switzerland is proud to keep supporting DNDi in its efforts to ensure equitable access to new medicines and essential treatments for NTDs,’ said Ambassador Christian Frutiger, Assistant Director General, Head of Global Cooperation, SDC. ‘We believe in strong partnerships between research institutions, pharmaceutical companies, and public donors in order to reach greater health equity.’
‘DNDi is extremely grateful that we can count on the SDC for their vital, long-term support it has provided for the full range of our activity for more than 15 years. Together, we are working to support the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals and ensure that neglected patients have access to the treatments they need, so that no one is left behind,’ said Dr Bernard Pécoul, Executive Director of DNDi. ‘Sustained investment in innovation is critical to overcoming gaps in the availability of safe, effective medicines adapted to the needs of patients and clinicians in resource-constrained settings.’
More than one billion people, including 500 million children, are affected by neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) according to WHO. More than 6 million people die every year from NTDs, medicines for which are often ineffective, unsafe, unavailable, or unaffordable.
With a wide range of partners worldwide, including in low- and middle-income countries most affected by NTDs, DNDi works to foster collaborations among key actors, including health ministries, national disease control programmes, regulatory authorities, academia, and civil society groups, as well as clinicians and health professionals. These partnerships enable DNDi to work in close proximity to affected communities in order to deliver the treatments patients need.
Since 2003, DNDi has delivered nine new treatments for six deadly diseases, including sleeping sickness, leishmaniasis, Chagas disease, malaria, paediatric HIV, and hepatitis C – saving millions of lives. DNDi has also mobilized its networks to contribute to the COVID-19 response by addressing the specific challenges faced by low- and middle-income countries and fragile health systems.
DNDi plans to develop another 15 to 18 new treatments by 2028, for a total of 25 treatments in its first 25 years. The SDC’s support will be crucial to attaining this objective, and will contribute directly to delivering the medical innovation needed to save lives and reach the targets of the World Health Organization (WHO) 2030 NTDs Roadmap, which sets ambitious disease control and elimination targets for the decade ahead.
+41 79 431 6216
A not-for-profit research and development organization, DNDi works to deliver new treatments for neglected patients, those living with Chagas disease, sleeping sickness (human African trypanosomiasis), leishmaniasis, filarial infections, mycetoma, paediatric HIV, and hepatitis C. DNDi is also coordinating a clinical trial to find treatments for mild-to-moderate COVID-19 cases in Africa. Since its inception in 2003, DNDi has delivered nine new treatments to date, including new drug combinations for visceral leishmaniasis (kala-azar), two fixed-dose antimalarials, and DNDi’s first successfully developed new chemical entity, fexinidazole, approved in 2018 for the treatment of both stages of sleeping sickness. DNDi recently launched its new 2021-2028 Strategic Plan. dndi.org
Photo credit: Emmanuel Museruka-DNDi