Targeting Tropical Diseases

Science  22 Dec 2006:
Vol. 314, Issue 5807, pp. 1859d
DOI: 10.1126/science.314.5807.1859d

SINGAPORE—A new partnership for clinical research could make Indonesia the first country to field-test drugs against dengue, a burgeoning, occasionally fatal disease that causes fever and wrenching muscle aches. The partnership—between the Novartis Institute for Tropical Diseases (NITD) in Singapore and two Indonesian institutes—will also focus on tuberculosis.

NITD, co-funded by Novartis and the Singapore government, aims to develop diagnostics and drugs for diseases of the poor and polish up the company's image in the process (Science, 7 February 2003, p. 811). Next month, it will join officials from Hasanuddin University in Sulawesi and the Eijkman Institute for Molecular Biology in Jakarta to launch a $5 million effort to build clinical research capacity in the world's fourth most populous nation. “We hope there will be a snowball effect,” says Irawan Yusuf, dean of Hasanuddin's medical school.

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