Takeda Pharmaceutical and DNDi Collaborate to Progress a Potential New Drug for Visceral Leishmaniasis through the R&D Pipeline

Takeda Pharmaceutical and DNDi Collaborate to Progress a Potential New Drug for Visceral Leishmaniasis through the R&D Pipeline

April 5, 2018

Efforts Funded by the Global Health Innovative Technology Fund for Pre-clinical and Phase I Clinical Studies

Osaka, Japan and Geneva, Switzerland - 5 April, 2018 — Takeda Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. (TSE: 4502), ("Takeda") and the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (“DNDi”) today announced that they have signed an agreement to collaborate in conducting preclinical and phase I clinical studies on drug candidate compounds that had been discovered among the aminopyrazole compound class, aimed at developing an innovative drug for the treatment of visceral leishmaniasis (VL).

The project has been selected for funding by the Global Health Innovative Technology Fund ("GHIT"). GHIT is an international public private partnership fund that facilitates global R&D partnerships for the discovery and development of new health technologies needed in developing countries. The Takeda-DNDi partnership will receive a sum of approximately 600 million yen from GHIT in support of its studies.

In July 2015, Takeda and DNDi launched a programme to collaborate in the “Lead Optimization Programme” aimed at identifying the best compound among aminopyrazole series for developing an innovative drug for the treatment of VL. The ultimate aim of this project is to develop a new drug that is orally active, safe, effective, short-course, field-adapted and will ideally be administered in combination with another oral treatment to avoid resistance as much as possible.

Through this Programme with GHIT, Takeda and DNDi will build partnerships and create innovative approaches towards improving access to medicines, and thereby contribute to the development of treatments for “Neglected Tropical Diseases”.

Over 1 billion people around the world in over 90 countries are at risk of leishmaniasis, which is transmitted by the bite of a sandfly. VL is the most serious form of leishmaniasis, causing fever, weight loss, spleen and lever enlargement, and anemia and, if left untreated, death; 50,000 to 90,000 new cases and cose to 30,000 deaths are reported a year. Another form of the disease, cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL), with 600,000 to 1 million new cases every year, can lead to disfiguration and stigmatization for people affected. Current treatments remain costly, difficult to administer, not adapted to field conditions in endemic countries, of too long duration, or poorly tolerated.

In addition to this partnership, in 2015 Takeda and DNDi partnered to start the “Neglected Tropical Diseases Drug Discovery Booster” project, designed to accelerate and expand the discovery of new drugs for treating leishmaniasis and Chagas disease. The Drug Discovery Booster project has also been confirmed as a recipient of funding from GHIT, commencing April 2018. 

Over the years, Takeda has continued to address health challenges on a global scale by delivering drugs, providing financial assistance, and improving access to medicines in numerous countries, with a focus on regions and disease areas that have high levels of unmet medical needs. Through a variety of programs aimed at alleviating the burden of disease, Takeda will continue in its drive for better health and a brighter future for all.

About Takeda Pharmaceutical Company
Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited (TSE: 4502) is a global, research and development-driven pharmaceutical company committed to bringing better health and a brighter future to patients by translating science into life-changing medicines. Takeda focuses its R&D efforts on oncology, gastroenterology and neuroscience therapeutic areas plus vaccines. Takeda conducts R&D both internally and with partners to stay at the leading edge of innovation. Innovative products, especially in oncology and gastroenterology, as well as Takeda’s presence in emerging markets, are currently fueling the growth of Takeda. Approximately 30,000 Takeda employees are committed to improving quality of life for patients, working with Takeda’s partners in health care in more than 70 countries. For more information, visit https://www.takeda.com/newsroom/.

About DNDi
A not-for-profit research and development organization, DNDi works to deliver new treatments for neglected diseases, in particular leishmaniasis, human African trypanosomiasis, Chagas disease, specific filarial infections, mycetoma, paediatric HIV, and hepatitis C. Since its inception in 2003, DNDi has delivered seven treatments: two fixed-dose antimalarials (ASAQ and ASMQ), nifurtimox-eflornithine combination therapy (NECT) for late-stage sleeping sickness, sodium stibogluconate and paromomycin (SSG&PM) combination therapy for visceral leishmaniasis in Africa, a set of combination therapies for visceral leishmaniasis in Asia, a paediatric dosage form of benznidazole for Chagas disease, and a ‘superbooster’ therapy for children co-infected with HIV and TB. DNDi has established regional disease-specific platforms, which bring together partners in disease-endemic countries to strengthen existing clinical research capacity, as well as to build new capacity where necessary. www.dndi.org 


Media Contacts:
Ilan Moss
[email protected] / [email protected]

Tatsuhiro Kanoo
[email protected]
+81 (0) 3-3278-3634