Supporting the Approval of a Treatment for a Neglected Tropical Disease
Medicines Development for Global Health (MDGH) is a not-for-profit biopharmaceutical company headquartered in Melbourne, Australia. MDGH is dedicated to developing affordable medicines and vaccines for neglected diseases prevalent in low- and middle-income countries. Onchocerciasis (river blindness) is a Neglected Tropical Disease (NTD). It is the second leading cause of infectious blindness and the fourth leading cause of preventable blindness worldwide. Onchocerciasis is endemic in some of the world’s poorest and most disadvantaged communities, affecting at least 25 million people worldwide. It is caused by the nematode, Onchocerca volvulus, which is transmitted by Simulium black flies that breed in fast-flowing rivers (Figure 1). The millions of larvae (microfilairae) released by the adult parasites invade patients’ skin, lymph nodes and eyes. The worms can cause skin inflammation, intense itching, enlarged lymph nodes, and, in some patients, visual impairment that can lead to blindness.
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