In 2014, this four-year, EU-funded project managed by VU University Amsterdam was launched to develop novel drugs against parasitic diseases.

Standstill in neglected disease treatment

Neglected parasitic diseases (NPDs) form an enormous obstacle to the development of communities across the world. The diseases are classified 'neglected' as investments in finding cures for these illnesses are extremely low, especially when considering their devastating impact on human and veterinary health. The NPDs addressed in this project - Chagas' disease, human African trypanosomiasis, leishmaniasis and schistosomiasis - collectively result in 6.6 million disability-adjusted life years.

During the last 30 years, only 9 new drugs targeting these NPDs have come to market. Some of these treatments cause severe side effects, while others are very expensive or are threatened by drug resistance. A cause for this standstill is the lack of sufficient financial incentive, due to the low return on investment perspective for the pharmaceutical industry.

Drug discovery platform

The PDE4NPD project enables public and private partners to join forces within the EU Seventh Framework program to tackle these healthcare needs. It is dedicated to developing drugs against parasitic phosphodiesterase inhibitors (PDEs): a family of well­characterized enzymes that have been shown to be a viable target for medicinal treatments. TI Pharma is the Program Management partner in the project, and is, among other things, responsible for communication and dissemination. As part of the latter activity, TI Pharma is establishing a worldwide Open Innovation Platform for neglected diseases.

For more information and a complete list of participating organizations, please visit PDE4NPD's website.

“Running public-private partnerships is a profession by itself. TI Pharma is an excellent example of how you can do this in an effective way.”

Hugo Hurts
Director/Secretary of the Medicines Evaluation Board

Hugo Hurts
Director/Secretary of the Medicines Evaluation Board

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