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Parasitic worms cause substantial morbidity and mortality worldwide, and a heavy reliance on anti-parasitic treatments has led to drug resistance, with no effective vaccine available for most parasites. In order to address this high priority gap, the team of Professor Robin Gasser at the University of Melbourne has developed a high throughput whole-organism assay for anthelmintic drug discovery. Johnson & Johnson will provide its Jump-stARter library for screening in the assay.
Dr. Chiaka Anumudu at University of Ibadan previously identified 54 human proteins as potential biomarkers for schistosomiasis and bladder pathologies. Through WIPO Re:Search, Dr. Anumudu shared 60 urine samples with Dr. Horacio Bach at the University of British Columbia to support biomarker identification and validation. Upon identification of the biomarker(s), recombinant antibodies will be generated in Dr. Bach’s laboratory to develop a serological test for fast diagnosis.
Approximately 11,000 people per month die, and approximately 450,000 people per year suffer life-altering injuries such as amputation and permanent disability, due to snakebite envenoming. Professor Nicholas Casewell, a Wellcome Trust research fellow at the Centre of Snakebite Research and Interventions (CSRI), Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, is working on innovative approaches to discover and develop the next generation of treatments for snakebites. To support these efforts, Johnson & Johnson will be sharing its diverse compound library and a targeted set of compounds to potentially identify novel inhibitors of the toxic components of snake venom.