DNDi lauds Nobel winners for advances in neglected disease research

Geneva, Oct 6 (IANS) The Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi) on Tuesday congratulated the three winners of the 2015 Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine with the hope that their win inspires a new generation of researchers to pursue scientific careers in the field of neglected diseases.

“The fact that this Nobel Prize has been awarded to parasitologists who devoted their careers to the treatment of diseases that affect poor populations in low- and middle-income countries shows that research and development (R&D) can deliver concrete solutions of great importance to global public health,” said Bernard Pecoul, executive director of the non-profit research and development organisation in a statement.

Irish-born William Campell, China’s Tu Youyou and Japan’s Satoshi Omura won the 2015 Nobel Prize for physiology or medicine.

The announcement was made by the Nobel Assembly at Sweden’s Karolinska Institute.

One half of the prize will be shared jointly by Campbell and Omura for “their discoveries concerning a novel therapy against infections caused by roundworm parasites” and the other half will go to Tu for “her discoveries concerning a novel therapy against malaria”.

“Two fixed-dose combination treatments that DNDi and partners delivered for malaria – ASAQ and ASMQ – were made possible thanks to artemisinin and addressed urgent needs. Unfortunately, such treatments are the exception rather than the rule,” Pecoul said.

He hoped the awards will inspire a new generation of researchers to pursue scientific careers in the field of neglected diseases.

“We also hope it will encourage greater public leadership in innovation and access to treatments for neglected patients. Today’s award will go a long way in showing that innovation cannot be reserved only for those who can pay,” he added.

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