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The California Institute of Technology (Caltech) is a private university with a strong focus on science and...
The Centre Pasteur du Cameroun was created in 1959 in partnership with the Institut de Recherche pour le...
Cheikh Anta Diop University of Dakar (UCAD), was originally established as a medical school. Research at UCAD...
The Eijkman Institute for Molecular Biology is focused on advancing basic and applied research related to...
Fundação Oswaldo Cruz, also known as Fiocruz, focuses on research and experimental medicine aimed at...
Guangzhou Institutes of Biomedicine and Health (GIBH) was established in 2006 as a joint venture between the...
Dr. Pollastri is a medicinal chemist specializing in drugs for neglected tropical diseases. He designed over 1,000 compounds that could inhibit HAT, but it was unclear whether the compounds would possess ADME properties sufficient to ensure good in vivo exposure. BVGH connected Dr. Pollastri with AstraZeneca, who agreed to test compounds from the Northeastern optimization efforts in their TIER1 ADME assays.
60P Pharmaceuticals, a company that specializes in drug development for tropical diseases, was interested in repurposing modipafant for treating dengue fever. Modipafant was under development by Pfizer, but was discontinued. Pfizer disclosed modipafant’s Investigator’s Brochure to 60P under confidentiality. An Investigator's Brochure is a compilation of the clinical and nonclinical data on the investigational product(s) that is relevant to the study of the investigational product(s) in human subjects. The data helped 60P design its dengue fever clinical trial, saving both time and money.
PLKs are important regulators of cell cycle progression and mitosis. In mammals there are five PLKs (PLK 1-5). SmPLK1 and SmSAK —homologous to PLK1 and PLK4, respectively— are expressed in the parasitic worm Schistosoma mansoni. Dr. Caffrey has evidence from whole-organism screens that specific inhibition of SmPLK1 by commercially available inhibitors of human PLK1 kills S. mansoni. GSK provided Dr. Caffrey with 38 benzimidazole thiophene inhibitors of human PLK1 from the Published Kinase Inhibitor Sets (PKIS) 1 and 2, which he screened for anti-schistosomal activity.
Dr. Hoffmann’s laboratory used gene knockdown studies to identify drug targets of clinical importance in S. mansoni, the causative agent of schistosomiasis. Alnylam researchers designed siRNAs for Dr. Hoffmann that were specially optimized for delivery in S. mansoni, and also provided expert guidance on their use.
PATH provided its NINA heater to support Dr. Pillai’s loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP)-based malaria diagnostic. Dr. Pillai tested his pan-Plasmodium/Plasmodium falciparum-specific LAMP assay with the NINA heater, first in his laboratory at the University of Calgary and then in the field in Ethiopia. LAMP amplified DNA / RNA with specificity and rapidity under isothermal conditions. The method uses DNA polymerase and primers recognizing gene sequences that target the parasitic mtDNA, detecting parasitaemia below the limit of microscopy or rapid diagnostic tests. LAMP carried out in a NINA heater was rapid and simple. Results were read by visual observation of the reaction, with no additional processing. NINA-LAMP has demonstrated success in point-of-care diagnosis of malaria:
• Evaluation of non-instrumented nucleic acid amplification by loop-mediated isothermal amplification (NINA-LAMP) for the diagnosis of malaria in Northwest Ethiopia (2015); https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4323137/
• NINA-LAMP compared to microscopy, RDT, and nested PCR for the detection of imported malaria (2016); https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4862928/
Dr. Ayong developed a reverse transcription-loop-mediated isothermal amplification-based assay (RT-LAMP) for high sensitivity detection of malaria parasites. In order to meet the necessary temperature conditions for field use of the RT-LAMP assay, BVGH connected Dr. Ayong with PATH scientists, who shared their NINA heater to support diagnostic development. Dr. Ayong’s tests of his RT-LAMP in the NINA heater yielded encouraging results, which he, along with the PATH team, published in 2016. The RT-LAMP method uses primers designed to target a high-abundant P. falciparum transcript in parasite RNA extracts or whole blood lysates. Following amplification within the NINA heater platform, the results are read using a UV light source (flashlight) to detect sample fluorescence. The RT-LAMP-assay has demonstrated success for malaria diagnosis in both low and high parasite density settings: A Field-Tailored Reverse Transcription Loop-Mediated Isothermal Assay for High Sensitivity Detection of Plasmodium falciparum Infections (2016) (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27824866)