Sanofi and DNDi Collaboration on Neglected Tropical Diseases

Partnership Objective

Collaborate for the research of new treatments for nine neglected tropical diseases: Leishmaniasis, Chagas Disease, Human African Trypanosomiasis, Lymphatic Filariasis, Onchocerciasis, Soil-Transmitted Helminthiasis, Dracunculiasis, Fascioliasis and Schistosomiasis.

Collaborative agreements between partners with different sets of expertise and resources are key to advances in the search for new treatments against NTDs. Collaborative agreements between partners with different sets of expertise and resources are key to advances in the search for new treatments against NTDs. Copyright Sanofi Pasteur

What are the health needs and challenges?

Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) affect the lives of hundreds of millions of persons in the developing world, and more particularly communities living in remote rural areas, in urban slums and or in conflict zones with poor living and hygiene conditions.

Description of partnership activities and how they address needs and challenges

In 2011, Sanofi and DNDi launched a partnership for the research of new treatments for nine neglected tropical diseases (NTDs), listed by the World Health Organization (WHO) for which new, adapted, and efficient tools are urgently needed to treat patients in endemic countries: kinetoplastid diseases (leishmaniasis, Chagas disease, and human African trypanosomiasis), helminth infections (lymphatic filariasis, onchocerciasis, and soil-transmitted helminthiasis), and dracunculiasis, fascioliasis, and schistosomiasis.

In the framework of this agreement, Sanofi brings molecules from its libraries into the partnership, while DNDi and Sanofi collaborate in research activities on innovative molecular scaffolds. The core of the agreement lies in the innovative management of intellectual property generated through the collaboration. The rights to results produced by this partnership will be co-owned by Sanofi and DNDi. The partners will facilitate publication of the results to ensure access to the wider community of researchers focusing on NTDs. The public sector will benefit from the drugs developed through this agreement under the best possible conditions to ease access for patients in all endemic countries, irrespective of their level of economic development.

Since April 2009, Sanofi and DNDi have been working together to develop Fexinidazole, a new and promising drug for the treatment of human African trypanosomiasis (HAT), also known as sleeping sickness. Current therapeutic options are either poorly tolerated or difficult to administer, notably for advanced-stage HAT disease. The development of a new, orally-administered treatment that matches the efficacy of current treatments and improves tolerance will be a major progress.

Lessons learned

Collaborative agreements between partners with different sets of expertise and resources are key to advances in the search for new treatments against NTDs.

Summary of impact and forward looking information

Recruitment of phase II/III studies for fexinidazole have been completed. 

Partnership information

Company(ies) Sanofi

Partner(s) Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi)

Type of Partner(s) PDPs

Therapeutic Focus Neglected Tropical Diseases

Disease(s) Chagas Disease, Dracunculiasis (Guinea Worm), Fascioliasis, Human African Trypanosomiasis (Sleeping Sickness), Leishmaniasis, Lymphatic Filariasis, Onchocerciasis (River Blindness), Schistosomiasis, Soil-Transmitted Helminthiasis

Program Type(s) Research & Development - Development of Treatments

Targeted Population(s) Children, Elderly, Marginalised / Indigenous People, Men, Mothers, Patients in needs of treatment, People with low income, Women, Youth

Region(s)

Start Date 2011

More information Press Release

Completed date 2016

« This agreement is a major milestone in our access to molecules that can help combat neglected diseases. »

Dr. Bernard P├ęcoul, Executive Director of DNDi