A Doctor's Dream
A dramatic drug development story scoops top prize at WHO film festival
Stephanie Sutton | | Quick Read
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“A doctor’s dream: A pill for sleeping sickness” by the Drugs for Neglected Disease Initiative (DNDi) was awarded the Grand Prix at the WHO’s inaugural “Health For All” Film Festival. The 7-minute film shows how Congolese doctors, non-profit DNDi, and drug giant Sanofi came together to develop the first oral treatment for sleeping sickness.
The drug, fexinidazole, was approved by the EMA in 2018 and is now on the WHO’s List of Essential Medicines. Previous drugs were delivered intravenously – difficult and expensive for resource-limited settings. Doctors hope that the availability of an oral drug could help eliminate the deadly disease.
DNDi received a $10,000 prize, which they will use to make more films highlighting the challenges of drug development for neglected diseases.