Drug development and evaluation for helminths and other neglected tropical diseases - 2009 annual report
An outline of progress made in TDR’s ‘Drug development and evaluation for helminths and other neglected tropical diseases’ research function during 2009
Neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) generate morbidity and mortality in poverty-stricken populations. They are regarded as a public health priority for the World Health Organization (WHO). The WHO strategy includes:
- “Innovative and Intensified Disease Management” for diseases for which cost-effective control interventions do not exist for wide-scale use (the so-called “tool-deficient” diseases).
- “Preventive Chemotherapy and Transmission Control” which uses available drugs often distributed to populations in combination to prevent morbidity and/or reduce transmission (the so-called “tool-ready” diseases)
In either case, few drugs are available and these are under-researched – in general there is little information on their mechanisms of action, and their dosage regimens are based on insufficient pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic data. Furthermore, their extended use carries the risk of drug resistance developing. Therefore, new or improved drugs and more knowledge of the pharmacology and the effects of the use of those currently available is required to support both strategies.