Novartis To Partner With OneWorld Health To Develop Diarrhea Drug

“Swiss drug company Novartis AG and the Institute for OneWorld Health, a nonprofit group, will announce this week a partnership to discover drugs for a type of diarrhea that kills about 1.6 million children each year in the developing world,” the Wall Street Journal reports.

Though fluid treatments to prevent dehydration have helped “sharply cut the number of deaths” from secretory diarrhea in recent years “additional treatments are desperately needed, Richard Chin, chief executive of OneWorld Health, said in a phone interview,” the newspaper writes. As part of the partnership, ten Novartis scientists will first sift through drugs candidates, before “pass[ing] along any promising candidates to OneWorld Health for further testing.”

The newspaper writes: “OneWorld Health, based in San Francisco, has been working on secretory diarrhea since 2006, using a $47 million grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The group already has a research partnership with Swiss drug company Roche Holding AG, which has allowed the nonprofit group to scan Roche’s library of experimental drugs for candidates that might work against diarrhea” (Whalen, 7/14).