Drugs against parasitic diseases: R&D methodologies and issues
Discoveries and drug development Edited by A.H. Fairlamb, R.G. Ridley, H.J. Vial
Parasitic diseases are a present and worsening threat to human health and welfare around the globe. Yet current products and tools for the treatment of most parasitic diseases are predominantly limited in scope, effect and availability. Drug resistance is spreading rapidly, the development of new drugs is not keeping pace with need, and many potential vaccines have not been meeting expectations.
This report details the proceedings of a meeting on "Drugs against parasitic diseases", held in Montpellier, France (24-26 1999). The goal of the meeting was the production of a basic framework to better coordinate and guide research and development of antiparasitic drugs. The meeting addressed various questions concerning drug discovery and development, with particular attention being paid to novel strategies and new technologies. There was a special focus on the promise and pitfalls of parasite genomics. The papers presented at the meeting (and published in this report) cover a selection of top priorities that would benefit from immediate R&D activities. They also attempt to provide guidance that could be used to accelerate the general development of antiparasitic drugs.
The 21 papers presented were divided into four distinct areas:
- Antiparasitic drugs and need for control strategies: Economic and Patent issues
- How to discover novel targets for pharmacological intervention
- Compound acquisition and rationale for drug development
- Methods for drug screening and evaluation of pharmacological activity.
It is hoped that the outcome of the meeting will be a strengthening of collaboration among scientists and experts from around the world working in various disciplines concerned with the discovery, production and application of new tools to combat a range of parasitic diseases. Diseases that still blight the lives of hundreds of millions of individuals around the world, especially the poor and disadvantaged.