Bayer to Supply API to DNDi for NTD Drug

Bayer HealthCare and the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi) have signed an agreement under which Bayer will provide the active ingredient emodepside to support DNDi in its effort to develop a new oral drug to treat river blindness (or onchocerciasis). The world's second leading infectious cause of blindness, river blindness is a neglected tropical disease caused by a filarial worm.

Emodepside originates from the Japanese pharmaceutical company Astellas and has been developed by Bayer HealthCare's Animal Health division for veterinary use. The compound has been found to be effective in killing adult worms in preclinical studies, thus showing potential as a new macrofilaricidal drug for the treatment of patients with river blindness. Astellas has granted Bayer the rights to develop emodepside along these lines. Within the framework of the agreement, DNDi will be responsible for the preclinical and clinical development of emodepside and Bayer for the pharmaceutical development, manufacturing, registration, and supply of the drug. The agreement ensures that emodepside, if successful in subsequent phases of drug development, would be available at the lowest sustainable price to ensure affordability and access in the current 31 African disease-endemic countries. The rights to use technology or data generated within the collaboration allow each party to pursue the project with third partners in case of withdrawal of the other party, thus securing the development and accessibility of emodepside for the benefit of patients.

Source: Bayer HealthCare

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