Some chidren with River Blindness are restrained to prevent them from injuring themselves or wandering off. Credit: Science
The CDIPD coordinates a large collaborative project involving scientists from the Lindsley F. Kimball Research Institute New York Blood Center; University of Buea, Cameroon; Anacor Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Palo Alto, CA; University of California, Santa Cruz; The California Institute for Biomedical Research (CALIBR); San Francisco State University; and UC San Francisco. The aim of the project, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, is to develop drugs for the treatment of two devastating diseases: river blindness and lymphatic filariasis, caused by filarid nematodes: Onchocerca volvulus (River Blindness) and Brugia malayi and Wuchereria bancrofti (Lymphatic Filariasis). Drugs in current use kill microfilariae (larval) stages of the parasites, but treatment is desperately needed to kill the adult worm for cure and to stop transmission.
Dr. Sara Lustigman of the NY Blood Center (Lindsley F. Kimball Research Institute) is screening compounds against the L3 stage of O. volvulus. Dr. Fidelis Ngwa at University of Buea, Cameroon, is screening hits identified against Brugia worms against Onchocerca adults and Loa loa microfilariae.
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