Takeda Partners for Neglected Tropical Disease Drug Candidate
Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited and the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi), a not-for-profit research and development organization, have formed an agreement to collaborate in a lead optimization program aimed at identifying the best compound among those in an aminopyrazole series for developing an innovative drug for treating visceral leishmaniasis, a neglected tropical disease.
The program is being funded by Global Health Innovative Technology (GHIT) Fund, a public interest incorporated association and a fund for promoting the research and development of pharmaceuticals and vaccinations in developing countries. The GHIT Fund is investing approximately 400 million yen ($3.2 million) into DNDi for the program.
Leishmaniasis is a parasite infection transmitted by sandflies, and there are more than 20 Leishmania species that are the pathogens causing the infection. Leishmaniasis occurs in over 90 countries worldwide, mainly in tropical regions, but treatment options are limited. Leishmaniasis is one of the 17 neglected tropical diseases designated by the World Health Organization. VL is the most serious form of leishmaniasis.
DNDi and Takeda are working on the lead optimization of the aminopyrazole series. In preclinical trials, the aminopyrazole series exhibited good antiparasitic activity. DNDi and Takeda are targeting a short-course oral administration of the drug.
In addition to this collaboration agreement, DNDi and Takeda entered into partnership agreements for other drug-discovery efforts for leishmaniasis and Chagas disease.