Eisai and Broad Institute collaborate to develop new drugs

Eisai Co., Ltd., said on Friday that it will work with the Broad Institute to develop new drugs for neglected tropical diseases and tuberculosis.

Eisai and Broad's first project will be to complete new-treatment research toward the development of a new drug to treat Chagas disease.

Chagas disease is passed from insect to human through a bite by a vinchuca bug, and is endemic in poor areas of Latin America and the Caribbean. Symptoms of the disease range from fever, fatigue and swollen lymph nodes to serious heart or intestinal damage that could lead to death. An average of 14,000 people die from Chagas disease in Latin America every year.

The project received a grant from the Global Health Innovative Technology Fund. The GHIT Fund is an international nonprofit organization that promotes discovery of new health technology to fight infectious diseases.

Eisai is a research-based health care company that focuses in integrative neuroscience, integrative oncology and vascular/immunological reaction. The company has a global network of facilities and manufacturing sites, and works to discover and develop treatment drugs and vaccines.

The Broad Institute is located in Cambridge, Mass., and is a collaborative research facility between Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.