The Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi) and Abbott (NYSE: ABT) have signed a four-year joint research and non-exclusive licensing agreement to undertake research on new treatments for several of the world's most neglected tropical diseases, including Chagas disease, helminth infections, leishmaniasis and sleeping sickness. Through this collaboration, DNDi and Abbott scientists will focus initial efforts on discovering and advancing novel antimicrobial agents with activity against these neglected diseases.
Since 2009, Abbott has provided compounds for DNDi to screen for activity against neglected diseases. This new agreement expands this relationship, and provides DNDi access to selected classes of molecules and accompanying data generated by Abbott that are crucial for the development of effective and accessible new treatments for neglected diseases.
"Innovative product development partnerships have significant potential for addressing neglected diseases," said Dr. John Leonard, senior vice president, Pharmaceuticals, Research and Development, Abbott. "By combining the unique scientific expertise and resources of DNDi and Abbott, we look forward to accelerating research to find practical new treatment options for people affected by these diseases."
"Abbott has demonstrated a great level of commitment by partnering with DNDi to share not only its compounds, but also its expertise and resources. For DNDi, this implies a new critical mass of knowledge to pursue our goals of addressing the unmet needs of neglected patients in the poorest areas of the world," said Dr Bernard Pecoul, Executive Director of DNDi.
Equitable access to treatments for neglected diseases in all endemic countries, not only least-developed countries, is at the core of this agreement, and DNDi has committed to ensuring the lowest sustainable pricing for any products developed and distributed as a result of the agreement. Intellectual property (IP) related to this agreement, existing relevant Abbott IP and new IP generated by this collaboration will be subject to a principle of non-exclusive licensing to address neglected diseases in endemic countries. Under the agreement, Abbott has the right of first negotiation to become DNDi's development and distribution partner. DNDi is free to engage other partners if Abbott chooses not to serve as a development and distribution partner.
The agreement, in short implies:
- Both DNDi and Abbott share their unique scientific expertise and resources to advance the development of drugs adapted to patient needs.
- DNDi gains access to Abbott compounds, data and information to accelerate drug development.
- Non-exclusive licensing structure for relevant IP in the neglected diseases field provides flexibility, thus expanding the potential of drug development.
- Any resulting products will be provided in endemic countries at the lowest sustainable price to expand patient access.