OneWorld Health and BioFocus DPI Expand Diarrheal Disease Drug Discovery Collaboration
News Sep 12, 2008
BioFocus DPI, the service division of Galapagos, and the Institute for OneWorld Health, a non-profit pharmaceutical company, announced that it had expanded its 2006 collaboration in diarrheal disease drug discovery.
Under the expanded collaboration, BioFocus DPI is performing a high-throughput, cell-based functional screen to identify potential new drugs for the treatment of diarrheal diseases. The “hits” identified in this screen will be confirmed through a series of activity assays developed by BioFocus DPI specifically for this drug target.
In 2006, BioFocus DPI and the Institute for OneWorld Health initiated a collaboration to develop new drugs against childhood diarrheal disease in developing countries. During this initial collaboration, cell based functional assays have been developed by BioFocus DPI to find small molecule compounds with potential activity against a specific diarrheal disease target.
In a separate partnership initiated by OneWorld Health with Roche in April 2008, OneWorld Health gained access to the Roche corporate collection of compounds, with the goal of using these compounds in screens as starting points to discover new therapies to treat childhood diarrhea.
Under the expanded collaboration, BioFocus DPI is screening 700,000 of these compounds on behalf of OneWorld Health in the cell-based functional assays developed by BioFocus DPI to identify inhibitors of the specific target.
Diarrheal diseases kill approximately two million children under the age of five in developing countries each year, which is more than the combined pediatric death toll due to AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.