VL, also known as kala azar ("black fever"), is a fatal disease transmitted by sand flies, which spread leishmania parasites that attack internal organs. VL is endemic in 62 countries, and the number of new VL cases per year is estimated at 500,000. With the exception of malaria, VL kills more people than any other parasitic disease. OneWorld Health completed phase III clinical testing last year with paromomycin, an off-patent antibiotic, for the treatment of VL in India. This large-scale clinical trial in Bihar, India, demonstrated that paromomycin is both safe and effective. OneWorld Health is submitting an application for drug approval to the Indian regulatory agency in early 2006.
"The elements for a sustainable public health solution for VL in India, created and managed by Indians, are coming closer together," stated Victoria Hale, PhD, founder and CEO of OneWorld Health. "Our role is to fortify the arsenal of public health tools. The Gates Foundation funds are the catalyst for us to partner with some remarkable researchers, government officials and manufacturers in India, and other nations in the future, to create a local solution that meets the highest international quality standards. We are energized about the prospect of controlling a deadly disease in India and beyond."
"The development of this new drug is a terrific global health success story. By developing a low-cost, off-patent drug for a neglected disease, OneWorld Health and its partners have given the world a more effective cure with a good safety prof
Contact: Angie Cecil
Institute for OneWorld Health