The majority of the world's population lives under unacceptable healthcare conditions. Though hardly known in the developed world, Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) afflict 1 in 6 people, or approximately 1.4 billion individuals. NTDs are severely debilitating, lower cognitive function in children, and hamper economic development. Despite their prevalence, NTDs remain largely overlooked by the pharmaceutical industry due to their lack of profitability.
Drugs & Diagnostics for Tropical Diseases (DDTD) is a non-profit 501c3 research organization created "to discover new treatments and diagnostics for tropical diseases". At DDTD we embrace the ideal of eliminating diseases that do not belong to the 21st century.
The Goal and the Challenge
Contrary to other medical innovations, our goal is to integrate the latest scientific advances into ultra-low cost devices or treatments. We draw our inspiration from cutting-edge biology, chemistry, nano-engineering, and wireless technologies,
Current Focus and Recent Progress
Mapping a disease is the first step towards its elimination. Our current focus is on parasitic worms, especially the African eye-worm (Loa loa) which infects over 10 million people. In 2015, we launched a campaign to develop a rapid diagnostic test aimed at enabling the high-resolution mapping of L. loa (see video below). By May 2017, we delivered 50,000 advanced prototypes of said rapid test. As of January2018, we have shipped 20,000 prototypes for evaluation in Cameroon, Nigeria, and Gabon. The field testing is an international effort coordinated by the Task Force for Global Health and executed by the Cameroonian Centre de Recherche sur les Filarioses et autres Maladies Tropicales, and the respective Ministries of Health.
Health Specialist Kenny Goldberg of KBPS, San Diego 's main news station, reports on our efforts. See above the TV segment aired by KBPS on June 19, 2015 or click here to be redirected to KPBS accompanying article.