Issue Date: June 29, 2009
Merck Joins DNDi In Tropical Disease Fight
Merck & Co. will work with the not-for-profit Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi) to discover and develop better treatments for tropical diseases, such as visceral leishmaniasis and Chagas disease. Under a nonexclusive, royalty-free license, Merck will contribute small-molecule assets, and DNDi will conduct multiple early development programs. Merck will have the option to undertake late-stage clinical development and register any drug candidates at its own expense or through partnerships. According to DNDi, only about 1% of 1,556 drugs approved between 1975 and 2004 were developed specifically for neglected diseases, which account for 11.4% of the global disease burden.
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