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  • Charity launches not-for-profit drug industry

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Médicins sans Frontières is to address the lack of available treatments for many diseases that afflict the world’s poor by launching an ambitious international effort to create a virtual industry driven by public needs rather than share price.

The Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative (DNDI) — which was formally launched in New York last month — will research, develop and produce drugs for diseases that have been ‘neglected’ because they affect mainly people in the developing world, and so have poor commercial prospects.

The Paris-based charity has put up an initial US$1 million for five pilot projects to develop and produce drugs for the parasitic diseases visceral leishmaniasis and sleeping sickness. More funding will later be sought from foundations and governments.

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Reference: Nature 416, 465 (2002)
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