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DISEASE INFORMATION

Lymphatic filariasis

We’re investigating a new treatment for this debilitating disease of the lymph system

OVERVIEW

What is lymphatic filariasis?

Lymphatic filariasis (also known as elephantiasis) is a painful and debilitating disease that affects the lymph system. It is caused by a microscopic worm – Wuchereria bancrofti, Brugia malayi and B. timori – transmitted to people through the bite of infected mosquitos. Inside the human body, the parasitic worms travel through the lymph system, often undetected, eventually causing abnormal enlargement in the arms, legs and genitalia.  

People are suffering from lymphatic filariasis in tropical and sub-tropical regions throughout the world, particularly in Africa, south and east Asia and some Pacific islands.  

THE STATS

Why are we targeting this disease?

860M

people live in endemic areas

50

People in at least 50 countries are threatened by the disease

72M

people were infected as of 2019

INFOGRAPHIC

Transmission stages of Onchocerca volvulus

WHAT we're DOING

Moxidectin

Current community-directed treatments for lymphatic filariasis include albendazole, which stops the worms from absorbing sugar, alone or in combination with ivermectin (an anti-parasitic drug) or diethylcarbamazine (which inhibits the metabolism of a specific omega-6 fatty acid in the parasites), depending on the presence of co-endemic infections.

The treatment we are studying for lymphatic filariasis is moxidectin, an anti-microfilarial medicine. We are collaborating in a Phase 2/3 lymphatic filariasis study being conducted in Cote D’Ivoire by the Death to Onchocerciasis and Lymphatic Filariasis (DOLF) project run by Washington University, St. Louis, USA. This study was initiated in Q3 2020 and will evaluate the safety and efficacy of moxidectin in combination with albendazole and diethylcarbamazine.

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Take a look at the research and development work

Disease areas

Primarily affecting the lungs, tuberculosis remains the leading cause of infectious death worldwide.

Tuberculosis

A debilitating and disfiguring disease found in 31 African countries and beyond.

River blindness

An infectious skin condition affecting more than 200 million people at any one time.

Scabies

A painful and debilitating disease of the lymph system affecting over 50 million people at any one time.

Lymphatic filariasis

A soil-transmitted infection affecting up to 100 million people, particularly children.

Strongyloidiasis

A chronic infectious disease which may cause skin lesions and nerve damage found in 127 countries.

Leprosy

Among the most common of all infections with an estimated 1.5 billion people infected worldwide.

Soil-transmitted helminth infections