Scientists are one step closer to developing a potent treatment for Chagas disease, leishmaniasis, and human trypanosomiasis. All three are tropical diseases that affect 20 million people worldwide and can cause an estimated 50,000 deaths a year.
One feature these diseases all have in common is that parasites with similar biologies and genomic sequences induce these infections, according to University of York. However, each pathogen causes different symptoms.
The researchers scanned a library owned by Novartis, which was filled with over three million chemical compounds. A phenotypic screen was performed against the live parasites using these elements in order to identify the most potent.
Please follow R&D Magazine on LinkedIn
The final compound, named GNF6702, had the greatest impact against a weak spot found in all three parasites, reported Reuters.
The compound was modified to test in mice. Results showed GNF6702 could successfully cure the disease in the animal subjects without causing harmful side effects.
No dangerous side effects in mice may mean this compound could present a safer alternative to existing tropical disease drugs.
The next phase of this project will include toxicity testing before moving onto human trials.
The study was published in the journal Nature.
Filed Under: Drug Discovery