Turnhout, Belgium (ots/PRNewswire) - Max Planck Innovation,
the technology transfer agency of the Max Planck Society based in
Munich, Germany and Dafra Pharma R&D, a Belgian research company
belonging to Dafra Pharma International, today signed a license
agreement for the development and commercialisation of a new drug
Leishmaniasis is a so-called 'neglected' parasitic disease. It
occurs in 88 different countries spread over 4 continents and is most
frequent among the most vulnerable, poorer populations. According to
WHO figures, some 350 million people are "at danger" and around 12
million people are infected with the disease.
The disease can be divided into 3 main categories: cutaneous,
mucocutaneous and visceral. Cutaneous leishmaniasis is the most
frequently occurring form. Visceral leishmaniasis is the severest
form of the disease, invariably proving fatal if left untreated.
A promising new treatment for leishmaniasis?
Existing therapies for the treatment of leishmaniasis have never
been optimal and even have serious drawbacks, such as toxicity and
neural effects. Moreover, the parasites have developed resistance to
these drugs, and treatment is very expensive mainly due to the
required parenteral routes of administration. This is problematic
since the disease affects poorer people. On top of this,
leishmaniasis has recently turned out to be a highly opportunistic
infection, affecting vulnerable AIDS for example.
The active substance oleylphosphocholine, originally discovered
by Professor Eibl at the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical
Chemistry, is particularly active against the parasite that causes
leishmaniasis. Administering a pharmaceutical formulation of this
compound to affected animals leads to their full recovery. Even
better, according to Professor Eibl, the active substance's safety
and lack of side-effects have now also been confirmed by further
animal studies. It can be expected that the treatment of
leishmaniasis with oleylphosphocholine can completely control, even
cure this fatal disease in humans.
Cooperation between Dafra Pharma R&D and MPI, Göttingen
The Max Planck Society was founded in 1948 and has produced no
fewer than 17 Nobel Prize winners. Its primary goal is to promote
research at its own institutes. The Max Planck Society's subsidiary,
Max Planck Innovation, markets patents and technologies to industry
and coaches founders of new companies based on research results from
Max Planck Institutes. It is among the world's most successful
technology transfer organizations.
Dafra Pharma R&D was chosen for the continued development and
commercialisation of the new product oleylphosphocholine. The goal of
the partners' cooperation is to produce a better, cheaper treatment
for leishmaniasis, and Dafra Pharma R&D has been issued an exclusive
licence to do just that.
Dafra Pharma R&D belongs to the Dafra Pharma International group,
which made its reputation by developing and marketing the latest
generation of antimalarial drugs (ACTs) at affordable prices. The
company has done a tremendous amount of pioneering work in
introducing these ACTs to Africa and has now duly become the market
leader on the African continent. In addition to its commercial
strength in Africa, i.e. a unique distribution and promotional
network of approximately 130 medical representatives who are active
in over 30 African countries, Dafra Pharma International also has a
strong R&D subsidiary. For some years now that company, led by Dr
F.H. Jansen, has been focussing on the development of new molecules
designed to counter 'neglected diseases', including TB,
schistosomiasis, sleeping sickness and toxoplasmosis.
Prof Dr Eibl
Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry
ots Originaltext: Dafra Pharma
Im Internet recherchierbar: http://www.presseportal.ch
Contact, Caroline Jansen, Spokesperson, Mobile: +32(0)475-274-098,
firstname.lastname@example.org; or Prof Dr Eibl, Tel: +49-55-44-9129153,