Contact Us
Advancing inhibitors targeting Cathepsin D as a new drug treatment for schistosomiasis
Investigator(s): Dr Nicholas Furnham
Amount Awarded: 100,098

Schistosomiasis is one of the most prevalent global helminth infections leading to acute and chronic disease, affecting 200 million people and threatening over 800 million in 54 endemic countries.  The  WHO  2021−2030  road  map  for  neglected tropical diseases targets Schistosomiasis for elimination as a public  health  problem  in  all  endemic  countries and highlighting that an integrated approach in which therapeutic intervention will play an important part. Current treatment relies on a single 45  year-old  drug  – praziquantel, which  has  significant limitations as a therapeutic. With signs of resistance emerging and a vaccine still a distant prospect, discovery of novel anti Schistosoma  drugs  is  of  ultimate  importance.  Using  a  combination  of  computational  and  experimental  techniques we  have  identified  compounds  that  inhibit  the  activity  of  a  protein shown to be crucial for the parasites survival. Our aim  is to develop these promising new compounds, improving their  efficacy  and  demonstrating  their  effectiveness  at  killing  the  parasite.