Sunday, 5 May 2013

New Approaches for Detection, Treatment, and Control of Selected Neglected Tropical Diseases

Deadline- May 7, 2013

Funding opportunity has been announced for New Approaches for Detection, Treatment, and Control of Selected Neglected Tropical Diseases under the Grand Challenges Explorations Round 11. Applicants are invited from within and outside the NTD (Neglected Tropical Diseases) community who have ideas for new approaches for detection, treatment and control of selected neglected tropical diseases. The objective of this program  to generate novel approaches to treatment and control of onchocerciasis, LF, STH, and schistosomiasis. New technologies and innovations are encouraged  to improve detection of viable adult worms, to develop drug treatments that are safe, effective, and affordable, and interventions that interrupt transmission, with the ultimate goal of ridding the world of these infectious diseases.

Some of the key challenges facing the development of drugs and diagnostics for these specific diseases are as follows-

    Need for strategies that address multiple diseases: Many individuals are infected with more than one pathogen causing the NTDs described above. New strategies are needed to integrate mapping, treatment, monitoring, and surveillance of some combination of these diseases (onchocerciasis, LF, Loa loa, STH, and schistosomiasis) simultaneously.
    Drug development is hampered by lack of robust and facile model systems: For the discovery of a macrofilaricide, greater access to the adult worms that cause onchocerciasis and LF, or a validated surrogate model, is needed. Current efficacy models are very time-consuming and require large quantities of drug candidate.
    Need for development of new drugs to treat these NTDs: Effective, safe, inexpensive and tolerable medicines are needed to treat populations affected by onchocerciasis and LF. Since entire communities are frequently treated using an MDA schedule, new drugs must be safe and effective for children, pregnant women, and other populations at high risk for complications.
    Need for diagnostics for mapping, treatment, monitoring and/or surveillance of these NTDs: For onchocerciasis and LF, diagnostics are needed to determine when adult worms have been killed and MDA can be discontinued. For areas where Loa loa is co-endemic with onchocerciasis, a diagnostic is needed to detect individuals who harbor high levels of Loa loa microfilariae. New point-of-care diagnostics are also needed for STH and schistosomiasis. For diagnostics to have the greatest impact, one test or diagnostic platform should simultaneously diagnose multiple diseases, samples must be easy to collect and transport, and tests must be either point-of-care or have the ability to be batched for high-throughput analysis at regional laboratory centers.

Proposals must-

    have a testable hypothesis,
    include an associated plan for how the idea would be tested or validated, and
    yield interpretable and unambiguous data in Phase I, in order to be considered for Phase II funding
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