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River Blindness or onchocerciasis is caused by the prelarval (microfilaria) and adult stages of the filarial nematode Onchocerca volvulus. The disease is transmitted by the bite of certain species of female Simulium flies (black flies) that bite by day and are found near rapidly flowing rivers and streams. Onchocerciasis is endemic in more than 25 nations located in a broad band across the central part of Africa. Small endemic foci are also present in the Arabian Peninsula (Yemen) and in the Americas (Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Guatemala, southern Mexico, and Venezuela)
DNDi awarded USAID grant to develop new treatments for river blindness, elephantiasis

DNDi awarded USAID grant to develop new treatments for river blindness, elephantiasis

The Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative has been awarded US$ 10 million by the United States Agency for International Development to develop new treatments for onchocerciasis (river blindness) and lymphatic filariasis (elephantiasis) - the first-ever USAID grant for neglected tropical disease research and development (R&D). [More]
Bayer, DNDi sign first agreement to develop new oral treatment for onchocerciasis

Bayer, DNDi sign first agreement to develop new oral treatment for onchocerciasis

Bayer HealthCare and the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi) have signed an agreement under which Bayer will provide the active ingredient emodepside to support DNDi in its effort to develop a new oral drug to treat river blindness (or onchocerciasis). The world's second leading infectious cause of blindness, river blindness is a neglected tropical disease caused by a filarial worm. [More]
Grand Challenges Canada announces $1.2 million in grant for 11 new global health innovations

Grand Challenges Canada announces $1.2 million in grant for 11 new global health innovations

Grand Challenges Canada, funded by the Government of Canada, today announced $1.2 million in funding for 11 new global health innovations implemented in member states of La Francophonie. [More]
Gates Foundation provides $2 million grant to help fight major parasitic diseases

Gates Foundation provides $2 million grant to help fight major parasitic diseases

Almost $2 million is being invested by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to help fight major parasitic diseases of the developing world. [More]
New, easy-to-use test to accelerate progress toward eliminating onchocerciasis in Africa

New, easy-to-use test to accelerate progress toward eliminating onchocerciasis in Africa

A new test will accelerate global progress toward eliminating onchocerciasis, a leading cause of preventable blindness in Africa. PATH, an international nonprofit health organization, today announced the availability of the SD BIOLINE Onchocerciasis IgG4 rapid test, manufactured and distributed by Standard Diagnostics, Inc. [More]
Blackflies infected with Onchocerca volvulus parasite may spread nodding syndrome

Blackflies infected with Onchocerca volvulus parasite may spread nodding syndrome

Despite decades of research, scientists have yet to pinpoint the exact cause of nodding syndrome (NS), a disabling disease affecting African children. A new report suggests that blackflies infected with the parasite Onchocerca volvulus may be capable of passing on a secondary pathogen that is to blame for the spread of the disease. New research is presented in the International Journal of Infectious Diseases. [More]
Celgene Global Health, DNDi expand partnership to identify new drug candidates for NTDs

Celgene Global Health, DNDi expand partnership to identify new drug candidates for NTDs

Celgene Global Health, a division of Celgene Corporation, and the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative strengthen their collaboration with a four-year Research Collaboration Agreement to identify and optimize new drug candidates for the treatment of neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). [More]
Prenatal care for pregnant women increases from 61 to 91.3%, highlights Equatorial Guinea

Prenatal care for pregnant women increases from 61 to 91.3%, highlights Equatorial Guinea

Equatorial Guinea's infant mortality rate has decreased from 111 in 1994 to 65 per one thousand in 2011, said the country's Health Secretary of State, Maria del Carmen Andeme Ela. She also reported that the percentage of pregnant women receiving prenatal care from skilled health personnel has increase from 61% in 2000 to 91.3% this year. [More]
Janssen expands collaboration with IPM for development of dapivirine to prevent HIV

Janssen expands collaboration with IPM for development of dapivirine to prevent HIV

Janssen R&D Ireland Ltd. (Janssen) today announced that it has expanded its collaboration with the International Partnership for Microbicides (IPM) for the development and delivery of dapivirine (TMC120) for the prevention of HIV. [More]
Researchers developing new medication to tackle river blindness and elephantiasis

Researchers developing new medication to tackle river blindness and elephantiasis

Researchers are developing new drug treatments to tackle river blindness and elephantiasis, which affect up to 150 million people across the world. [More]
GHIT Fund announces grants to speed up innovative drug development for neglected diseases

GHIT Fund announces grants to speed up innovative drug development for neglected diseases

The Global Health Innovative Technology Fund, a new public health partnership that is bringing Japanese know-how and investment to the global fight against infectious diseases, today announced three grants worth a total of US$6.8 million to speed the development of innovative drugs for some of the world’s most neglected diseases—schistosomiasis, Chagas disease and parasitic roundworms. [More]

LSTM and University of Liverpool receive GHIT Fund to target lymphatic filariasis and onchocerciasis

The Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (LSTM) together with colleagues at the Department of Chemistry (University of Liverpool (UoL)) and Japanese pharmaceutical company Eisai are pleased to announce that they have been awarded a Global Health Innovative Technology (GHIT) Fund to develop new drugs to target lymphatic filariasis and onchocerciasis. [More]
New tools for neglected diseases: an interview with Dr. BT Slingsby, CEO, GHIT Fund

New tools for neglected diseases: an interview with Dr. BT Slingsby, CEO, GHIT Fund

Nearly 3.3 billion people, a little less than half of our world’s population, are at risk of malaria, TB and what we call “neglected tropical diseases”—diseases caused by worms, parasites, viruses and bacteria like Chagas disease, river blindness, elephantiasis, sleeping sickness, etc. [More]
LSTM professor awarded The Manson Medal for outstanding contribution in field of tropical medicine

LSTM professor awarded The Manson Medal for outstanding contribution in field of tropical medicine

The Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (LSTM) is delighted that Emeritus Professor and Senior Professional Fellow, David Molyneux, has been awarded The Manson Medal, the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene's highest mark of distinction. [More]
Human filariasis research: an interview with Professor Mark Taylor, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine

Human filariasis research: an interview with Professor Mark Taylor, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine

Filariasis refers to a group of diseases caused by parasitic worms, which are transmitted by blood feeding insects. Two species infect the lymphatic and blood systems causing lymphatic filariasis, which in some people can lead to gross swelling of the limbs and 'elephantiasis'. [More]
Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine receives US$ 10 million to continue research against human filariasis

Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine receives US$ 10 million to continue research against human filariasis

Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (LSTM) has received US$ 10 million from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to continue their breakthrough drug discovery and development research against human filariasis - parasitic worm infections which cause river blindness and elephantiasis, some of the world’s most debilitating diseases affecting up to 150 million people in 83 countries throughout the tropics. [More]

Lindsley F. Kimball Research Institute receives grant for global health and development research project

The Lindsley F. Kimball Research Institute of the New York Blood Center announced today that it is a Grand Challenges Explorations winner, an initiative funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. [More]
Anacor signs research agreement to discover drug candidates to treat neglected diseases

Anacor signs research agreement to discover drug candidates to treat neglected diseases

Anacor Pharmaceuticals today announced that it has signed a research agreement with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (the Gates Foundation) to discover drug candidates intended to treat two filarial worm diseases (onchocerciasis, or river blindness, and lymphatic filariasis, commonly known as elephantiasis) and tuberculosis. [More]
TSRI receives fund to develop new field test for Onchocerciasis

TSRI receives fund to develop new field test for Onchocerciasis

Philanthropist, businessman and community leader John Moores has given The Scripps Research Institute approximately $2 million to fund the development of a new field test for Onchocerciasis, or river blindness, a parasitic infection that affects tens of millions of people in Africa, Latin America and other tropical regions. [More]
Disease eradication efforts set sights on polio, Guinea worm

Disease eradication efforts set sights on polio, Guinea worm

"It's not a race, exactly, but there's an intriguing uncertainty about whether a former U.S. president or a software magnate will cause the next deliberate extinction of a species in the wild. Will Jimmy Carter eradicate Guinea worm before Bill Gates eradicates polio?" Wall Street Journal commentator Matt Ridley asks in his "Mind & Matter" column. [More]