Connecting Industry Assets and Researchers to Drive Neglected Disease R&D
WIPO Re:Search is a global consortium founded by BVGH, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and leading pharmaceutical companies. The aim of the Consortium is to accelerate the development of new drugs, vaccines, and diagnostics for neglected tropical diseases (NTDs), malaria, and tuberculosis through the sharing of intellectual property (IP).
Developing New Drugs to Tackle Antimalarial Resistance
Drug resistance threatens progress in the battle against malaria. To enable discovery of new antimalarials, Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, NJ, USA (known as MSD outside of the US and Canada) shared aspartyl protease inhibitors with researchers from the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research (WEHI), Australia. With Wellcome Trust Pathfinder Award support, Merck & Co. and the WEHI researchers are developing compounds targeting plasmepsin V, a key parasite enzyme.
Improving Onchocerca Detection
The World Health Organization estimates that over 25 million people suffer from onchocerciasis globally. Available diagnostics are unable to detect impalpable adult worms that reside deep beneath the skin, resulting in the standardization of long-term, preventative drug treatments that can endure for over 20 years corresponding to the worm lifespan. Dr. Stephen Ghogomu at the University of Buea has identified two secretary proteins as potential biomarkers for adult-stage onchocerciasis. He has shared the amplified PCR products with Dr. Horacio Bach at the University of British Columbia, who will express and share the recombinant antigens with Dr. Ghogomu to test the antibody response via ELISA with the goal of developing an on-site antibody-based device to detect adult stage O. volvulus.
Bcl-2 Inhibitors Against Parasitic Diseases
Parasitic infections currently affect over one billion people around the world, including millions of people in the U.S. each year. Drs. Alexis Kaushansky and Bart Staker at the Center for Infectious Disease Research (CIDR) are working to further anti-parasitic drug discovery. They have previously demonstrated Bcl-2 family inhibitors efficacy in Plasmodium and Toxoplasma models of infection. To support their efforts to expand screening against other neglected parasitic infections, Takeda will provide the investigators with Bcl-2 family inhibitors to kill parasite infected cells including P.falciparum, P.vivax, C.parvum, T.cruzi, Toxoplasma, and Leishmania sps. To further support this project, BVGH has provided a Letter of Support for the CIDR researchers’ NIH grant application.
What do our partners say about WIPO Re:Search?
WIPO Re:Search is an innovative platform that helps companies share their IP assets—including those developed to treat non-communicable diseases—to stimulate NTD product discovery. By connecting industry's assets with disease experts, WIPO Re:Search can accelerate the development of much needed drugs, vaccines, and diagnostics. We are very satisﬁed with BVGH’s partnership coordination services, which help ensure that our IP assets are being put to best use for neglected disease R&D.
The role of industry in improving global health cannot be understated. We have been, and must continue to be, leaders, experts, innovators, and—most importantly—partners in global efforts to reduce suffering and the burden of disease.
Intellectual Property Shared
WIPO Re:Search Sponsor Members
* Known as EMD in the US and Canada
** Known as MSD outside of the US and Canada