NTD Drug Discovery Research Consortiums

The target of the research are NTDs caused by parasitic protozoans, such as  leishmaniasis, Chagas disease and sleeping sickness. The target of the research are NTDs caused by parasitic protozoans, such as leishmaniasis, Chagas disease and sleeping sickness. Copyright Astellas

What are the health needs and challenges?

Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) are a serious healthcare issue being addressed on a global scale. NTDs are infections caused by parasites, bacteria and viruses which are mainly endemic in tropical areas of developing countries. It is estimated that over 1 billion people are affected worldwide by NTDs. Since these patients do not have enough access to needed medicine and healthcare, NTDs are not only a global health challenge but are said to be associated with poverty and affect economic growth in developing countries.

Description of partnership activities and how they address needs and challenges

Astellas has initiated collaborative drug-discovery research to discover new drugs for the treatment of NTDs. This joint research aims for drug discovery for anti-protozoan and anti-dengue virus drug candidates. One consortium for anti-protozoan drug is in collaboration with DNDi, the University of Tokyo, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Nagasaki University, High Energy Accelerator Research Organization (KEK), and the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST).

The target of the research are NTDs caused by parasitic protozoans, such as  leishmaniasis, Chagas disease and Sleeping sickness, which are without effective medicines for treatment and require the development of new therapeutic drugs. The other consortium for anti-dengue virus is in collaboration with Tokyo Institute of Technology and Nagasaki University. Astellas provides selected compounds for the evaluation. In addition, the consortiums utilize structure-based drug discovery by using the consortium's cutting-edge technologies, such as target discovery, information technology, and fragment evolution method.

Lessons learned

This partnership highlights the importance of open innovation and collaboration with industry, academia, governmental organizations and NGOs. Integrating knowledge, technologies, and expertise has provided added values for research efficiency and quality to the consortium. Increased awareness of the consortium’s activity is anticipated.  For example, the number of collaborative research proposals from third parties have increased.

Summary of impact and forward looking information

  • Initiated the screening of Astellas’ compound library.
  • Developed iNTRODB database for worldwide use.
  • The iNTRODB database already accelerated the NTDs reseach beyond the consortium.

Partnership information

Company(ies) Astellas

Partner(s) High Energy Accelerator Reserach Organization (KEK), Nagasaki University, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, Japan, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Tokyo University

Type of Partner(s) Academia / Hospitals

Therapeutic Focus Neglected Tropical Diseases

Disease(s) Chagas Disease, Dengue, Human African Trypanosomiasis (Sleeping Sickness), Leishmaniasis

Program Type(s) Availability of Treatment - Technology Transfer - Scientific Collaboration and Knowledge Sharing, Research & Development - Development of Treatments

Targeted Population(s) Children, Patients in needs of treatment, People with low income

Region(s) East Asia & Pacific, Latin America & Caribbean, South Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa

Number of Countries 116

Country(ies) Afghanistan, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Bahamas, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Chile, China, Colombia, Comoros, Congo, Cook Islands, Costa Rica, Côte d'Ivoire, Cuba, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Fiji, French Guiana, Gabon, Ghana, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Jamaica, Japan, Kenya, Kiribati, Lao PDR, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia, Mongolia, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Palau, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Rwanda, Samoa, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, Somalia, South Africa, South Korea, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Tanzania, Thailand, The Gambia, Timor-Leste, Togo, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tuvalu, Uganda, Uruguay, Vanuatu, Venezuela, Vietnam, Zambia, Zimbabwe

Research Country(ies) Japan

Start Date 2013

More information NTD Drug Discovery Consortium

Completed date 2016