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Drug discovery and development for neglected parasitic diseases

Abstract

Diseases caused by tropical parasites affect hundreds of millions of people worldwide but have been largely neglected for drug development because they affect poor people in poor regions of the world. Most of the current drugs used to treat these diseases are decades old and have many limitations, including the emergence of drug resistance. This review will summarize efforts to reinvigorate the drug development pipeline for these diseases, which is driven in large part by support from major philanthropies. The organisms responsible for these diseases have a fascinating biology, and many potential biochemical targets are now apparent. These neglected diseases present unique challenges to drug development that are being addressed by new consortia of scientists from academia and industry.

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Acknowledgements

The authors are supported by the Sandler Family Supporting Foundation, the Bernard Osher Foundation, the Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative, and US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease Tropical Disease Research Units grant AI-35707.

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Correspondence to Adam R Renslo or James H McKerrow.

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Renslo, A., McKerrow, J. Drug discovery and development for neglected parasitic diseases. Nat Chem Biol 2, 701–710 (2006). https://doi.org/10.1038/nchembio837

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