News:Pharma major Novartis and the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi) have signed a collaboration and licence agreement to jointly develop LXE408, as a potential new oral treatment for Kala Azar.
About Kala Azar:
- Kala-azar also known as Visceral leishmaniasis(VL) is caused by the protozoan parasite of genus Leishmania.
- It is spread to humans through bites from female phlebotomine sandflies – the vector(or transmitter) of the leishmania parasite.
- The signs and symptoms include fever, weight loss, fatigue, anemia and substantial swelling of the liver and spleen.
- The disease primarily infects internal organs such as the liver,spleen (hence “visceral”) and bone marrow.It has been associated with high fatality without any proper diagnosis and treatment.
About Kala-azar Elimination Programme:
- The Government of India(GOI) launched a centrally sponsored Kala-azar Control Programme in the endemic states in 1990-91.
- Aim:To improve the health status of vulnerable groups and at-risk population living in Kala-azar endemic areas by the elimination of Kala-azar so that it no longer remains a public health problem.
About Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative(DNDi):
- Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative(DNDi) was founded in 2003.It is a collaborative non-profit drug research and development(R&D) organization that is developing new treatments for neglected diseases.
- It is headquartered in Geneva,Switzerland.