The rationale for the LCNTDR
The London Centre for Neglected Tropical Disease Research was launched on the 30th January 2013, which also marked the 1st anniversary of the 2012 London Declaration on Neglected Tropical Diseases. The declaration was a significant milestone for NTDs, which saw governments, donors, development agencies, pharmaceutical companies and academics commit to control – and where possible, eliminate – 10 NTDs before 2020. As part of this declaration, leading pharmaceutical companies, including GlaxoSmithKline and Johnson & Johnson reconfirmed their support through extensive drug donations for the treatment and control of NTDs. These collaborative efforts among public and private sector organizations have produced major successes against NTDs, then a group of 17 diseases that sicken, disable, disfigure and otherwise affect the world’s most vulnerable populations.
2012 was a pivotal year for the fight against NTDs because:
- The world’s leading pharmaceutical companies provided 1.12 billion treatments for NTDs, an increase of 150 million treatments from 2011. These commitments fully met the increased requests from endemic country partners and removed a key bottleneck to the successful treatment and prevention of NTDs;
- Twenty-nine countries began receiving drugs to treat or prevent soil-transmitted helminths, increasing treatments provided from 46 million in 2011 to 238 million in 2012;
- Donors committed funds to support integrated NTD programs, scale up and expand existing programs, increase funding available for mapping, improving program strategies through research, and developing new tools;
- Several countries launched new integrated NTD programs, which allowed national governments to align objectives, pool resources and, ultimately, combat NTDs more effectively. Many countries launched new or expanded mass drug administration (MDA) plans; and
- Two NTD diagnostic tests received regulatory approval: the first ever lateral flow test for sleeping sickness (African trypanosomiasis) was commercially launched in December, and a new rapid diagnostic test for lymphatic filariasis was coming to market.
In February 2015, the World Health Organization further encouraged financial support of the fight against NTDs with the launch of its 3rd Report on NTDs. Entitled "Investing to Overcome the Global Impact of NTDs," this report outlines the importance of increased investment particularly from middle-income countries with very high NTD burden.