Diseases of the Developing World
GSK established the research centre at Tres Cantos in Madrid in 2001 to work exclusively on finding answers to the illnesses of the developing world. Ever since, the principal focus has been on seeking new treatments for malaria and tuberculosis, and more recently, also for kinetoplastids diseases. On campus they have GSK scientists from across the organisation, including the UK and US. Research decisions are prioritised on their socio-economic and public health benefits rather than on commercial returns. A similar group is active in vaccines organisation in Belgium.
From the start GSK has sought to establish partnerships with other bodies committed to the same causes. The company continues to share their specialist knowledge and the financial cost of GSK' work together. One of longest standing relationships is with the Geneva based Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV). MMV is focused on managing and ultimately eradicating malaria, which kills up to two million people a year. The majority of victims are children under five or pregnant women living in tropical countries with poor economies. Another of GSK Tres Cantos' partners is the Global Alliance for TB Drug Development. Tuberculosis is second only to HIV in terms of the number of annual deaths it causes, with one person somewhere around the world dying of it every 20 seconds. The World Health Organisation estimates that two billion people are carrying the bacteria at any time.
In the last few years, they have consolidated relationships with key partners in the kinetoplastid area like Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi) and U. Dundee. Kinetoplastid diseases such as visceral leishmaniasis, Chagas or sleeping sickness are included in the list of 17 neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) defined by the WHO. More than 100 researchers are now working in GSK' laboratories at Tres Cantos, focusing on these and similar challenges. .
Euroleish.net involvement: under the coordination os Dr. Julio Martin, SCP Director of the Molecular Discovery Research Unit of GSK Spain is in charge screening and compound profiling training for project 1.2.