SAN FRANCISCO AND PALO ALTO, CA, USA – May 13, 2009 – The Institute for OneWorld Health, the US-based non-profit pharmaceutical company that develops drugs for people with neglected infectious diseases in the developing world, today announced that it has successfully completed its first screening campaign of the Roche proprietary compound library and will select up to 40 new drug leads for further study intended to identify a new treatment for childhood diarrhea.
OneWorld Health and Roche, a multinational pharmaceutical company with headquarters in Basel, Switzerland, and a global research presence, entered into a research collaboration in the spring of 2008 to fight neglected diarrheal diseases, which kill nearly two million children under the age of five in the developing world each year.
“Our work with Roche is an example of the different kinds of partnerships required to make the goal of reducing childhood deaths from diarrheal diseases in the developing world a reality,” said Dr. Richard Chin, OneWorld Health’s Chief Executive Officer. “The world has shown its resolve to fight pediatric diarrheal diseases by committing to the UN Millennium Development Goal of reducing the child mortality rate by two-thirds by 2015.”
OneWorld Health is a member of a coalition of more than 75 organizations (http://www.eddcontrol.org/call-to-action.php ) calling for action by the international community to stop needless deaths caused by diarrheal diseases. The coalition yesterday released two vital reports outlining the approaches and resources necessary to stem the tide of diarrheal deaths at a high-level forum in Washington, DC, convened by PATH and WaterAid America.
Diarrheal diseases—cholera, rotavirus, shigellosis, and others—are the second leading killer of children under the age of five in the developing world. OneWorld Health is working with its partners to discover and develop novel anti-secretory diarrheal drugs that will reduce fluid loss and help prevent death from dehydration caused by acute watery diarrheal diseases. This treatment is intended to be used as an adjunct to Oral Rehydration Therapy and zinc to save the lives of infants and children.
OneWorld Health commissioned BioFocus DPI to perform high-throughput screening of more than 780,000 molecules from Roche’s compound library in search of potential leads for its diarrheal diseases program, and will follow up on these leads to assemble a portfolio of drug candidates that address various aspects of diarrheal diseases.
About the Institute for OneWorld Health
The Institute for OneWorld Health, the first US nonprofit pharmaceutical company, develops safe, effective and affordable new medicines for people with infectious diseases in the developing world. The Institute for OneWorld Health, headquartered in San Francisco, California, USA, is a tax-exempt 501 (c) (3) US corporation. (http://www.oneworldhealth.org/).
Media resources are available at http://www.oneworldhealth.org/media/index.php/
Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, Roche is a leader in research-focused healthcare with combined strengths in pharmaceuticals and diagnostics. Roche is the world’s largest biotech company with truly differentiated medicines in oncology, virology, inflammation, metabolism and CNS. Roche is also the world leader in in-vitro diagnostics, tissue-based cancer diagnostics and a pioneer in diabetes management. Roche’s personalised healthcare strategy aims at providing medicines and diagnostic tools that enable tangible improvements in the health, quality of life and survival of patients. In 2008, Roche had over 80’000 employees worldwide and invested almost 9 billion Swiss francs in R&D. The Group posted sales of 45.6 billion Swiss francs. Genentech, United States, is a wholly owned member of the Roche Group. Roche has a majority stake in Chugai Pharmaceutical, Japan. For more information: www.roche.com .
About BioFocus DPI
BioFocus DPI aims to expand its partners’ drug pipelines by accelerating the gene-to-candidate discovery process. This is achieved through a comprehensive discovery platform, which includes target discovery in human primary cells, focused as well as diverse compound libraries, in vitro and cell-based screening, structural biology, medicinal chemistry, ADME/PK services, supported by unique chemogenomic and informatics tools, and compound library acquisition, storage and distribution services. As the service division of Galapagos, BioFocus DPI has over 250 employees in four countries worldwide. For more information, visit www.biofocusdpi.com .