Drug Development: Science for the Common Good
Pharmaceutical companies have insufficient motive to fund the search for new drugs that combat tropical diseases such as malaria, the Ebola fever, leishmaniasis and trypanosomiasis. There is a need to redirect research and funding toward public screening programmes to develop new drug therapies that address the greater good. Our program demonstrates the urgent need for public/private partnerships to finance independent research in tropical and emergent diseases. It equally reveals the need to build biomedical research networks as well as development centers. Such a program would include the equitable transfer of technology, as outlined by the Convention on Biodiversity (CBD), in order to enhance the scientific capabilities and the value of genetic resources in developing countries. With the increase of emerging infectious, chronic and drug resistant diseases, additional information is required about alternative therapies as a source of inspiration for new drug development if the goal of healthcare for all is to be attained.
Our drug development projects are implemented through partnership agreements and strategic alliances with private and public organizations and at our fully owned International Center for Ethnomedicine and Drug Development (InterCEDD), Intercedd Health Products (IHP) Company and Axxon Biopharm Inc.
International Cooperative Biodiversity Group
Through our programme on drug development and biodiversity conservation in West & Central Africa, BDCP seeks to demonstrate that sustainable drug development is a viable alternative to commercial logging, as a source of income for local communities. The goal of the project is to increase the net worth of tropical forests as a living resource base.
Our drug development programme also has the added objective of studying and standardizing local traditional medicines which have the potential to provide a more affordable, and in some cases, a more effective form of health care. Information concerning acute toxicity of traditional remedies is passed back to healers to enhance their practice. In this way, data generated through the drug development process is fed into both healthcare delivery and product development through partnerships.
Collaboration with Healers
BDCP has successfully established relationships with the National Association of Nigeria Traditional Medicine Practitioners (NANTMP) in Nigeria, PROMETRA in Senegal, as well as the umbrella union of healers in Africa. In each case, collaborations are based on reciprocity and equity.