Institute for OneWorld Health in collaboration to fight neglected diarrheal diseases

28 May 2009

The Institute for OneWorld Health, a US-based non-profit pharmaceutical company that develops drugs for people with neglected infectious diseases in the developing world, today announced that it has successfully completed its first screening campaign of the Roche proprietary compound library and will select up to 40 new drug leads for further study intended to identify a new treatment for childhood diarrhea.

OneWorld Health and multinational pharmaceutical Roche entered into a research collaboration in the spring of 2008 to fight neglected diarrheal diseases, which kill nearly two million children under the age of five in the developing world each year.

“Our work with Roche is an example of the different kinds of partnerships required to make the goal of reducing childhood deaths from diarrheal diseases in the developing world a reality,” said Dr. Richard Chin, OneWorld Health’s Chief Executive Officer. “The world has shown its resolve to fight paediatric diarrheal diseases by committing to the UN Millennium Development Goal of reducing the child mortality rate by two-thirds by 2015.”

OneWorld Health is a member of a coalition of more than 75 organizations calling for action by the international community to stop needless deaths caused by diarrheal diseases. The coalition released two vital reports outlining the approaches and resources necessary to stem the tide of diarrheal deaths at a high-level forum in Washington, DC, convened by PATH and WaterAid America earlier this month.

Diarrheal diseases — cholera, rotavirus, shigellosis, and others — are the second leading killer of children under the age of five in the developing world. OneWorld Health is working with its partners to discover and develop novel anti-secretory diarrheal drugs that will reduce fluid loss and help prevent death from dehydration caused by acute watery diarrheal diseases. This treatment is intended to be used as an adjunct to oral rehydration therapy and zinc to save the lives of infants and children.

OneWorld Health commissioned BioFocus DPI to perform high-throughput screening of more than 780,000 molecules from Roche’s compound library in search of potential leads for its diarrheal diseases program, and will follow up on these leads to assemble a portfolio of drug candidates that address various aspects of diarrheal diseases.


1. Call to Action on diarrheal disease

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