The Importance of Diagnostics in Eliminating Diseases
Drugs & Diagnostics for Tropical Diseases (DDTD) is a unique non-profit (501c3) venture based in San Diego, CA, with a mission “to discover new treatments and diagnostics for neglected tropical diseases”. These diseases have been typically neglected from research and development efforts due to the perceived lack of profitability and are commonly referred to as Neglected Tropical Diseases or NTDs.
As part of our mission, we are developing easy to use, rapid, inexpensive diagnostics to specifically detect infections associated with loiasis, lymphatic filariasis, and river blindness. We are passionate about serving the needs of the underprivileged within our capacity as scientists. In addition, we believe it is important to increase public awareness - especially within our local San Diego community - of the dire need to improve global health. The community’s resulting civic engagement can make an impact globally and DDTD wants to lead these efforts.
At an international level, DDTD embraces the idea of eliminating diseases that do not belong in the 21st century. The first step towards eliminating a disease is the ability to detect it. Mapping diseases is critical for the World Health Organization (WHO) and its affiliates to initiate mass drug administration programs, allocate resources, monitor progress, and eventually verify elimination. DDTD focuses on Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs), a group of diseases that afflicts 1 in 6 people, or approximately 1.4 billion individuals worldwide. NTDs are severely debilitating, lower cognitive function in children, and hamper economic development. Worldwide, 149 countries and territories are affected by at least one NTD, resulting in approximately 57 million years of life lost due to premature disability.
At a domestic level, we seek to reduce health inequity within local communities by providing a portfolio of low-cost rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) developed specifically for homeless individuals and people living in precarious conditions. Our initial focus will be hepatitis A (HAV), a highly contagious disease which struck the homeless and illicit drug user populations in San Diego and surrounding areas over the last year. HAV epidemics are also active in other parts of the nation, including Michigan, Kentucky, Utah, and Washington State.
President and Founder