Anacor Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:ANAC) and the Institute for OneWorld Health (iOWH) today announced the establishment of a joint research agreement to discover antibacterial compounds for treating shigellosis. Shigellosis, or bloody diarrhea, is an infectious disease caused by the gram-negative bacterium Shigella. An estimated 80 to 165 million people worldwide are impacted by this disease annually, which is responsible for an estimated 600,000 deaths each year, mostly among children in the poorest countries. Current therapies are losing their effectiveness due to bacterial resistance, which demands the development of new medicines to ensure effective treatment against this deadly disease.
“iOWH is committed to finding treatment for cholera, shigellosis and other diseases that claim the lives of so many infants and children across the world”
"We are proud to work with iOWH to potentially identify a new drug for shigellosis," said David Perry, Chief Executive Officer of Anacor Pharmaceuticals. "We have demonstrated that our boron-based chemistry platform and strength in antibacterial research has the potential to create new antibiotics, and we hope to leverage these to address a disease that affects over one hundred million people annually."
"iOWH is committed to finding treatment for cholera, shigellosis and other diseases that claim the lives of so many infants and children across the world," said Richard Chin, MD and CEO of OneWorld Health. "Working with Anacor brings us closer to saving the lives of the 1.5 million children who die from this treatable yet deadly disease every year."
OneWorld Health received significant funding for this project from the Department for International Development (DfID) in the United Kingdom for research and development of medicines to treat diarrheal diseases. "The world urgently needs effective new treatments for diarrheal diseases, which are the second leading killer of children under the age of five in the developing world. Every year these avoidable diseases kill 1.5 million children - more deaths than malaria, AIDS and tuberculosis combined. Persistent diarrhea also contributes to malnutrition. Britain is proud to support the work of iOWH to ensure lifesaving treatments are developed to prevent needless child deaths," said Stephen O'Brien, DfID Minister for International Development.
iOWH has also received funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to develop medicines to treat diarrheal diseases, and has research collaborations with Roche and Novartis.