eglected tropical diseases (NTDs) are a group of about 20 communicable, often-debilitating conditions that affect more than 1.7 billion people in 150 countries around the world. These diseases – such as soil transmitted helminths (STH), dengue and leprosy – disproportionately impact the poorest and most vulnerable communities. NTDs have a considerable impact on the lives of the people they affect, contributing to significant morbidity and long-term loss of economic productivity.
In 2012, Johnson & Johnson joined with leading global health organizations to sign the London Declaration on Neglected Tropical Diseases, a landmark, first-of-its-kind collaboration, which has helped drive impressive progress in the control, elimination and eradication of NTDs in the decade since. In 2022, Johnson & Johnson reaffirmed its commitment in the global fight against NTDs, once again joining with the global community to sign the Kigali Declaration, building on the London Declaration to drive progress in support of the WHO’s 2030 roadmap.
Johnson & Johnson has been a committed partner in the fight against NTDs for more than 15 years, and we remain steadfast in our commitments, even amid disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. From the lab to last mile, we are continuing our work to deliver solutions for intestinal worms, also known as soil transmitted helminths (STH), and are exploring potential solutions for dengue and leprosy.
Investing in Local Scientific Capacity
In June 2022, Johnson & Johnson launched the first Satellite Center for Global Health Discovery in Asia at Duke-NUS in Singapore. This unique research collaboration brings together leading scientists in the Asia Pacific region with Johnson & Johnson to help stimulate the early-stage science, innovation and talent development needed to tackle flaviviruses, including dengue, yellow fever, Zika and other pandemic threats.
Johnson & Johnson, in partnership with WIPO Re:Search, has made its JumpstARter Library available to drug discovery researchers in order to identify and advance promising drug candidates to ﬁght neglected infectious diseases. The library includes a diverse collection of 80,000 high-quality drug-like small molecules and compound fragments created to “jump-start” drug discovery collaborations.
More than fifteen years ago, Johnson & Johnson committed to address the threat of intestinal worms, which are particularly damaging to the health, development and well-being of children. Since then, our donated medicine has helped countless children around the world grow and thrive.
It is imperative that we advance our science to meet the needs of today and those to come. Our breakthrough work in dengue signals what is possible when collaborative science is applied at the discovery phase and channeled toward great unmet need in public health.
The new chewable formulation of our medicine to treat intestinal worms is of added value in allowing easier treatment for children as young as 1 year of age. Our donation helps children grow and thrive to lead healthier, more productive lives.
Within our company, we recognize that more of the same won’t do. Instead, today’s evolving public health threats require us to undertake new and innovative approaches to achieve long-term impact for entire communities—not just individuals—in the world’s most vulnerable populations. This fight can only be won if we all work together.
By enabling basic research around NTDs, we are making a difference in identifying new targets and molecular templates that can be potentially developed into effective therapeutics. All of these efforts are contributing to our goal of being able to effectively treat and eliminated neglected tropical diseases
The current multi-drug therapy for leprosy works; however, further simplifying and shortening treatment, developing alternative treatments in case of resistance to current leprosy therapy and being able to prevent transmission are what is needed to aid in elimination of leprosy in the world.