Last week marked an important milestone toward better controlling 10 neglected tropical diseases by 2020. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the World Bank, 13 pharmaceutical companies, the U.S., U.K. and U.A.E. governments and other global health organizations announced a new, coordinated push to defeat diseases like Dengue, rabies, blinding trachoma, Buruli ulcer, endemic treponematoses (yaws), leprosy (Hansen disease), Chagas disease, sleeping sickness, leishmaniasis, cysticercosis dracunculiasis (guinea-worm disease),echinococcosis, foodborne trematode infections, lymphaticfilariasis, onchocerciasisriverblindness), schistosomiasis (bilharziasis), soiltransmitted helminthiases (intestinal worms).  Believe it or not- 1.4 billion people worldwide affected by the diseases above- most of whom are among the world’s poorest. 

An event at the Royal College of Physicians this week kicked off the new collaboration, which will focus on prevention efforts expanding existing drug donation programs to meet demand through 2020; share expertise and compounds to accelerate research and development of new drugs; and provide more than $785M to support research efforts and strengthen drug distribution and implementation programs. 

You can see an introductory video and the this week’s event in London on the website.  The Executive Summary of the initiative is called Accelerating work to overcome the global impact of neglected tropical diseases- A roadmap for implementation.