Published January 25, 2022 / All Stories
Malaria: More than 240 million cases per year around the globe. Chagas disease: Parasitic, mild at first but can lead to congestive heart failure if left untreated. Tuberculosis: Dates to the Middle Ages but still the world’s deadliest infectious disease.
These are examples of neglected diseases, named so because existing treatments are either not readily available or accessible, or no treatment exists.
These diseases impact close to 2 billion people globally and disproportionately affect people in low- and middle-income countries. With this devastating toll worldwide, it’s not hard to see why the pharma industry, nonprofits and endemic countries have banded together to help.
At AbbVie alone, more than 400 scientists have given over 170,000 hours of their time toward advancing research and potential medications to treat neglected diseases, according to Trudi Veldman, Ph.D., head of the company’s neglected disease program.
At the center of this effort are the individual strengths of scientists, whether they work in chemistry, biologics, clinical trials or development, and the expertise of public and nonprofit health organizations aiming to improve health outcomes around the globe.
“This work involves people at all different levels, from trying to find new compounds to studies to evaluate the safety of potential medications,” Veldman says. “We’re joining forces to do this in collaboration with other groups, because one partner or another would not be able to achieve this on their own.”
Watch the documentary "A Journey of Sight: The Long Road Toward Treating River Blindness," created in partnership with Vox Media, for an inside look at how our scientists are helping to advance research in onchocerciasis, or river blindness.