Unit | Parasite Chemotherapy
Eastern Africa Network for Trypanosomiasis (EANETT)
Besides working on new drugs, the group also collaborates with African partner institutes in the Eastern Africa Network for Trypanosomosis (EANETT) in the area of sleeping sickness research and control. The Swiss Agency for Development and Co-operation (SDC) awarded the network a second phase of support for 2004–2006. A major goal for this phase will be to involve the network in international activities with access to additional funding.
A further element of activities deals with studies of trypanosome transmission through the tsetse fly vector to gain more knowledge about the life cycle of the parasite and the function of certain surface proteins.
The Parasite Chemotherapy Unit (PCU) is a drug discovery center for protozoan parasites. We have over 20 years of experience in assay development and drug efficacy testing for the causative agents of malaria (Plasmodium spp.), African sleeping sickness (Trypanosoma brucei), Chagas' disease (T. cruzi), Leishmanioses (Leishmania spp.) and diarrhea (Entamoeba and Giardia). Primary and secondary in vitro tests are combined with mouse models of the diseases (for African trypanosomes and malaria) and with molecular approaches on the mechanisms of drug action and drug resistance. The PCU is closely collaborating with product-development-partnerships such as MMV, DNDi or GALVmed, with academic partners from all over the globe, and with pharma companies. The PCU has been instrumental to the development of several clinical candidates including fexinidazole for human African trypanosomiasis (HAT) and artefenomel for malaria. The PCU was founded by Prof. Reto Brun and is led by Prof. Pascal Mäser.