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MSF, DNDi Analysis Shows Increased Investment In NTDs But Low Number Of New Therapy Approvals

“Over the past decade, neglected diseases have attracted increased attention and larger investments in research,” but “[a] new analysis by Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) and the Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative (DNDi) finds that the rate of approvals for new compounds over the past decade is roughly the same as it was during the previous two-and-a-half decades, when the diseases received little attention,” Nature Medicine reports. “The new analysis, presented at a symposium in New York on 13 December, shows that of the 850 new therapies and vaccines approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the European Medicines Agency and other agencies between 2000 and 2011, 37 focused on neglected diseases, and just four of those were new chemical entities,” the journal notes, adding, “The reason for the low number of approvals isn’t entirely clear, but one problem could be a lack of funding for product development once a discovery is made.” According to Nature Medicine, “The new analysis estimates that, given the current pipeline, an average of four or five new products could be approved each year for neglected diseases through 2018” (Willyard, 1/7).