Groundbreaking approaches to drug development
Every day in the developing world, people’s lives are cut short or severely compromised because they don’t have access to the right drugs. The medicines may be too costly, or they might not exist at all if a disease affects only people in low-resource settings.
Through PATH’s unique partnerships, which span the academic, private, and nonprofit sectors, we are proving that it is possible to create the new medicines that the developing world desperately needs. PATH develops and introduces affordable drugs for diseases that disproportionately affect people in low-income countries, including drugs to treat or prevent newborn infections, malaria, and HIV. By overcoming barriers to drug development, we are helping to achieve health equity.
Affordable, accessible, lifesaving
One example is our work in newborn infections. A newly cut umbilical cord can be an entry point for bacteria, leading to potentially life-threatening infection. PATH’s work to adapt the proven antiseptic chlorhexidine into a new, affordable formulation has the potential to save the lives of hundreds of thousands of babies each year.
But getting past the first month of life isn’t the only hurdle. PATH also looks for innovative ways to reduce suffering and death from such diseases as diarrhea, HIV, and malaria. A key ingredient in the fight against malaria is artemisinin, but the plant-based derivative is often in short supply. Through a groundbreaking cross-sector partnership, PATH and our collaborators created an entirely new product: semisynthetic artemisinin. This high-quality and affordable solution can be produced in quantities great enough to meet one-third of global need.
Partnering across sectors
PATH sees drug development as a unique opportunity to bridge the best of the private and nonprofit sectors. By tackling head-on the tremendous need for affordable and effective drugs to treat diseases of poverty, our work is bringing the best of science to bear on some of the world’s most challenging health problems.
Photo: PATH/Eric Becker.