Astellas, Nagasaki University form tropical disease alliance

Hannah Blake

pharmaphorum

Astellas Pharma has signed a collaborative research agreement with Tokyo’s The Nagasaki University to discover new drugs for the treatment of neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) caused by dengue virus.

NTDs are infectious diseases spread by parasites, bacteria or viruses, which are prevalent mainly in tropical areas of developing countries. An estimated one billion people are affected worldwide.

Under the collaborative agreement, the Institute of Tropical Medicine at Nagasaki University, which is one of the leading research institutes on tropical infectious diseases in Japan, and Astellas will cooperate on a drug-discovery research project. Astellas will provide multiple compounds with possible anti-dengue virus activities, and NEKKEN will evaluate these compounds in experimental model of infections with dengue virus for dengue fever / dengue hemorrhagic fever. The research will be advanced with advice from Professor Kouichi Morita, M.D., Ph.D., at the Department of Virology in NEKKEN, who is a key opinion leader on tropical infection research in Japan.

The Nagasaki University and Astellas will work together to accelerate the discovery of new drugs for patients suffering from dengue fever / dengue hemorrhagic fever in the world, through their collaborative research aiming to contribute to improve global public health problems.

There is currently no existing drug to treat dengue fever / dengue hemorrhagic fever in the market as well as under development, and the effectiveness of some vaccines to prevent dengue virus currently under development is unclear at this time.

This is the second collaboration between these two organisations – the first was a drug discovery partnership for the treatment of NTDs caused by protozoan parasites on November 12, 2012.

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Reference links:

Astellas press release

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