MMV’s project ‘Exploiting the Pathogen Box’ was awarded USD 1,360,000 by the Member States of the World Health Organization (WHO) to accelerate drug development for poverty-related diseases.
The project was one of six ‘demonstration projects’ selected by WHO with guidance from the WHO Executive Board and the former Chair and Vice-Chair of the Consultative Expert Working Group on Research and Development: Financing and Coordination (CEWG). The goal of the demonstration projects is to develop health technologies (medicines, diagnostics, medical devices, vaccines, etc.), by employing innovative ways, for diseases that disproportionately affect developing countries and for which identified R&D gaps remain unaddressed due to market failures. The funding is being administered by TDR, the Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases.
Modelled on MMV’s award winning Open Access Malaria Box and with funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Pathogen Box contains approximately 400 diverse, drug-like molecules active against diseases, such as Chagas’, human african trypanosomiasis and schistosomiasis. Upon request, researchers around the world can request a Pathogen Box. In return, they are asked to publish any data generated, thus creating an open and collaborative forum for neglected diseases drug research.