GALVmed has received funding approval totalling to US$ 19 million for the Phase 3 programme on Improved Tools for the Control of Animal African Trypanosomosis (Tryps 3). The main objective of the programme, which is co-funded by the UK Government and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, is to commercially develop a registered therapeutic trypanocidal product ready for sale through GALVmed’s commercial partner in the Tryps programme, a global animal health company already well-established in Africa.
Tryps 3 follows the successful culmination of an extensive early and mid-stage product research and development programme for a new trypanocidal drug capable of effectively meeting the needs of smallholders and pastoralists in Africa.
The basis for the Tryps programme lies in the severity of the disease and its impact on small-scale agriculture in sub-Saharan Africa. Animal African Trypanosomosis (AAT) is a protozoan parasitic disease transmitted by tsetse and other biting flies. It affects nearly all domestic animals and is present in 40 African countries. The direct annual impact of the disease (mortality and morbidity) is estimated at $650 million but the wider impact (particularly involving exclusion of animals from severely-affected areas) is estimated to be as high as $4.75 billion per annum (Budd 1999). Trypanocidal drugs are widely available in Africa but were developed over 50 years ago and have significant limitations in terms of safety and lack of efficacy against emergent drug resistant strains.
Under Tryps 1 and Tryps 2 programmes, a comprehensive and extensive network of organisations, drawn from approximately 20 commercial discovery groups and university departments with world-leading expertise and specific skill-sets, worked on the development of a pipeline of potential new candidate compounds and, eventually, choice of a lead candidate which has now successfully completed proof of concept assessments.