The Last Mile: Innovative Breakthrough in Sleeping Sickness Treatment

The successful roll-out earlier this year of fexinidazole, the first all-oral 10 day treatment developed in collaboration between Sanofi and Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi), to treat sleeping sickness is a huge step forward in the battle to eliminate human African trypanosomiasis or sleeping sickness. Potentially fatal, the disease has wreaked havoc on the most neglected populations of Africa for decades. 

Today Sanofi and DNDi have taken their collaboration one step further with the co-development of acoziborole, a New Chemical Entity. Once approved, acoziborole, a single-dose oral treatment, could be potentially administered at the point of diagnosis, making it a game-changer to support the sustainable elimination of the disease. 

Sanofi has battled alongside the World Health Organization (WHO) for almost two decades to wipe out the disease and has witnessed a 97% reduction in the number of cases reported between 2001 and 2019, but the battlefield is vast-57 million people remain at risk in 36 countries.1

“Most people affected by sleeping sickness live in remote rural areas. Providing a ‘last-mile’ treatment is a challenge if we want to reach sustainable elimination of the disease,” says Luc Kuykens, Senior Vice President of Sanofi Global Health Programs. 



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