In addition, meet the authors at ISNTD d³ 2016, our third annual conference on drug discovery, development & diagnostics for tropical diseases, and follow the Chagas disease panel chaired by Ms. Roxanne Khamsi (Chief News Editor, Nature Medicine).
ISNTD d³ 2016 information, programme & registration here.
Disease Brief Summary
• Chagas is a vector-borne neglected tropical disease (NTD) which affects 6-8m people worldwide. It is the leading cause of cardiac morbidity/mortality in rural and poor suburban areas of Latin America and represents a growing problem in other continents through population migration.
• The longstanding therapeutic options, benznidazole and nifurtimox, are effective at eradicating the parasite in the acute phase, but their impact on indeterminate and chronic Chagas is not clear (notably on cardiac disease) and they have important drawbacks for patients (prolonged dosing, toxicity).
• Attempts to develop newer drugs for Chagas have been met with disappointment with the failure in recent years of the ergosterol biosynthesis inhibitors, posaconazole and ravuconazole. These drugs had been shown to be highly potent and effective in murine models but ultimately fell badly short in clinical trials.
• The failure of the ergosterol inhibitors under-scores the challenges to new drug development in Chagas. These include the lack of reliable, predictive animal models and the difficulty in assessing disease activity/progression and response to therapy in chronic disease given the lack of validated biomarkers and the protracted timescale.
• While the current clinical pipeline for Chagas is thin, there are grounds for longer-term optimism. The London declaration on NTDs, the WHO roadmap for the 17 NTDs, and the Ebola outbreak of 2014 have together galvanized the pharmaceutical industry, NGOs and other stakeholders. In collaboration with DNDi, a dozen pharmaceutical companies are now actively pursuing R&D in Chagas, screening, identifying and optimizing new leads and developing improved disease models, biomarkers and assays to inform these reinvigorated efforts.
ISNTD annual membership
Join the ISNTD as a member here, from £30 annually.
For the diary
ISNTD Bites 2016 (vector control)
Lord's Cricket Ground, March 17th 2016
ISNTD Coinfections & Comorbidities
Institute of Child Health, April 29th 2016
ISNTD d³ 2016 (drug discovery, development & diagnostics)
Wellcome Trust, May 25-26th 2016
ISNTD Water & Sanitation
BMA House, October 18th 2016