Experts Discuss Better Treatments Against Parasitic Diseases

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Experts Discuss Better Treatments Against Parasitic Diseases

The Novartis Institute for Tropical Diseases convenes parasitology experts in Zambia
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The NITD convenes parasitology experts to discuss better treatments against parasitic diseases
Thursday, April 7, 2016 - 5:00am

CONTENT: Article

On April 4-8 2016, the Novartis Institute for Tropical Diseases (NITD) held a Symposium on Parasitology in Lusaka, Zambia, bringing together international and local experts in the field with the aim of engaging in productive scientific exchange on parasitic diseases - including malaria, sleeping sickness (Human African Trypanosomiasis), Chagas, leishmaniasis, and cryptosporidiosis. Experts engaged in discussions over target product profiles for these diseases and shared the latest accomplishments in drug discovery and cutting edge basic research that will potentially enable the delivery of novel drug candidates with the adequate pharmacological profiles.

In addition, the symposium was aimed at strengthening existing collaborations and fostering new partnerships with the ultimate goal of achieving disease elimination through the development of new approaches and therapeutics with improved efficacy and safety profiles, which are more tailored to large scale deployment in poor-resource settings. Though the last decade has seen an unprecedented level of coordinated global efforts to fight protozoan parasitic diseases, with some tangible progress made against diseases such as malaria and sleeping sickness for which mortality and morbidity are at a historical low, these gains are threatened by drug resistance and poor treatment compliance. At the same time, new threats such as cryptosporidium, an infectious pathogen which is the second leading cause of diarrheal disease, have recently been recognized as a very significant cause of morbidity and mortality in young children.

Protozoan parasites that are infectious to humans cause more than a million deaths annually and current therapies, when available, are often inadequate. NITD, in collaboration with many experts around the world, is working to address this significant unmet medical need by discovering and developing new drugs for the treatment of these ancient scourges.