by Krücken J, Holden-Dye L, Keiser J, Prichard RK, Townson S, Makepeace BL, Hübner MP, Hahnel SR, Scandale I, Harder A, Kulke D. PLOS Pathogens 2021;17(7): e1009682. doi: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1009682
Summary: Current programmes to eliminate river blindness use ivermectin, which kills juvenile worms. Since no drug is available to kill adult worms, elimination programmes must be sustained over several decades. Emodepside, a veterinary dewormer that kills juvenile and adult worms, is considered an excellent candidate for the treatment of onchocerciasis and in 2014 Bayer and DNDi started a collaboration to develop it for use in humans. This collaboration has led to a deep understanding of the drug’s mode of action, Phase I clinical trials have demonstrated its safety and activity against adult forms of a closely related cattle parasite, and Phase II clinical trials are planned to confirm safety and efficacy in humans.