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1.  Vector Research Addressing Country Control Needs 
PMCID: PMC4287495  PMID: 25569608
2.  A look at the ASEAN-NDI: building a regional health R&D innovation network 
Globally, there are growing efforts to address diseases through the advancement in health research and development (R&D), strengthening of regional cooperation in science and technology (particularly on product discovery and development), and implementation of the World Health Assembly Resolution 61.21 (WHA61.21) on the Global Strategy and Plan of Action on Public Health, Innovation, and Intellectual Property (GSPA-PHI). As such, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is responding to this through the establishment of the ASEAN-Network for Drugs, Diagnostics, Vaccines, and Traditional Medicines Innovation (ASEAN-NDI). This is important in the ASEAN considering that infectious tropical diseases remain prevalent, emerging, and reemerging in the region. This paper looks into the evolution of the ASEAN-NDI from its inception in 2009, to how it is at present, and its plans to mitigate public health problems regionally and even globally.
PMCID: PMC4021759  PMID: 24834349
ASEAN-NDI; Health research and development; Infectious tropical diseases; Innovation network; Strategic business plan
3.  Analysis of pan-African Centres of excellence in health innovation highlights opportunities and challenges for local innovation and financing in the continent 
A pool of 38 pan-African Centres of Excellence (CoEs) in health innovation has been selected and recognized by the African Network for Drugs and Diagnostics Innovation (ANDI), through a competitive criteria based process. The process identified a number of opportunities and challenges for health R&D and innovation in the continent: i) it provides a direct evidence for the existence of innovation capability that can be leveraged to fill specific gaps in the continent; ii) it revealed a research and financing pattern that is largely fragmented and uncoordinated, and iii) it highlights the most frequent funders of health research in the continent. The CoEs are envisioned as an innovative network of public and private institutions with a critical mass of expertise and resources to support projects and a variety of activities for capacity building and scientific exchange, including hosting fellows, trainees, scientists on sabbaticals and exchange with other African and non-African institutions.
PMCID: PMC3492037  PMID: 22838941
4.  Integrated Dataset of Screening Hits against Multiple Neglected Disease Pathogens 
New chemical entities are desperately needed that overcome the limitations of existing drugs for neglected diseases. Screening a diverse library of 10,000 drug-like compounds against 7 neglected disease pathogens resulted in an integrated dataset of 744 hits. We discuss the prioritization of these hits for each pathogen and the strong correlation observed between compounds active against more than two pathogens and mammalian cell toxicity. Our work suggests that the efficiency of early drug discovery for neglected diseases can be enhanced through a collaborative, multi-pathogen approach.
Author Summary
The search for new drugs for human neglected diseases accelerated in the past decade, based on the recognition that addressing these infections was necessary for global poverty reduction. The expansion of discovery and development programmes was supported by donor investment, increasing participation of the industry and the creation of Product Development Partnership (PDP) enterprises. Despite these efforts, major discovery gaps remain as, apart from some repurposed drugs and a few new molecules for malaria, no new candidate has been recently transitioned from discovery into development for the major Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs). In this publication, we present a collaborative network model for drug discovery based on coordinated North-South partnerships. This network carried out low-to-medium throughput whole-organism screening assays against seven NTDs (malaria, leishmaniasis, human African trypanosomiasis [HAT], Chagas' disease, schistosomiasis, onchocerciasis and lymphatic filariasis) together with an early assessment of compound toxicity in mammalian cells. We describe a screening campaign of 10,000 molecules, its outcome and the implications of this strategy for enhancing the efficiency and productivity of drug discovery for NTDs.
PMCID: PMC3243694  PMID: 22247786
5.  In Vitro Activity of Geldanamycin Derivatives against Schistosoma japonicum and Brugia malayi 
Geldanamycin (GA) is a benzoquinone-containing ansamycin that inhibits heat shock protein 90. GA derivatives are being evaluated as anti-neoplastic agents, but their utility against parasites whose heat shock proteins (Hsps) have homology with human Hsp90 is unknown. The activities of four synthetic GA derivatives were tested in vitro using adult Brugia malayi and Schistosoma japonicum. Two of the derivatives, 17-N-allyl-17-demethoxygeldanamycin (17-AAG) and 17-N-(2-dimethylaminoethylamino)-17-demethoxygeldanamycin (DMAG), are currently in human clinical trials as anticancer drugs. Using concentrations considered safe peak plasma concentrations for these two derivatives, all four derivatives were active against both parasites. The less toxic derivative 17-AAG was as effective as GA in killing S. japonicum, and both DMAG and 5′-bromogeldanoxazinone were more active than 17-AAG against B. malayi. This work supports continued evaluation of ansamycin derivatives as broad spectrum antiparasitic agents.
PMCID: PMC3021863  PMID: 21253549
6.  Advancing Drug Innovation for Neglected Diseases—Criteria for Lead Progression 
The current drug R&D pipeline for most neglected diseases remains weak, and unlikely to support registration of novel drug classes that meet desired target product profiles in the short term. This calls for sustained investment as well as greater emphasis in the risky upstream drug discovery. Access to technologies, resources, and strong management as well as clear compound progression criteria are factors in the successful implementation of any collaborative drug discovery effort. We discuss how some of these factors have impacted drug discovery for tropical diseases within the past four decades, and highlight new opportunities and challenges through the virtual North–South drug discovery network as well as the rationale for greater participation of institutions in developing countries in product innovation. A set of criteria designed to facilitate compound progression from screening hits to drug candidate selection is presented to guide ongoing efforts.
PMCID: PMC2727960  PMID: 19707561

Results 1-6 (6)