The Pharmaceutical Industry is expected to play a proactive global role in combatting neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) and other tropical diseases affecting low-income countries. Such a role would include novel medicine R&D, manufacturing and distribution. In order to succeed in this role, several challenges need to be overcome: a) the economic challenge or cost benefit balance for the development of these medicines, and b) sparse in-house experience with these diseases within the Industry. During the last decade, the Product Development Partnership (PDP) model has become an effective strategy to address such challenges. Organizations such as the Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV), Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi), TB alliance, PATH (formerly the Program for Appropriate Technology in Health), and others have linked pharmaceutical companies, funding organizations, academic researchers and others, and have thus been able to successfully populate treatment pipelines directed at NTDs, Malaria, tuberculosis (TB), and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)/AIDS. In this paper, our experience working with one of these organizations, DNDi, is described. We have been collaborating with DNDi in evaluating the actions of Eisai's antifungal compound, E1224, in a clinical study for treating Chagas Disease. In addition, other Eisai initiatives directed at NTDs and improving patients' access to medicines are introduced.
2016 The Pharmaceutical Society of Japan