We’re working on a new treatment for this common, infectious skin condition
Scabies is one of the most common infectious skin conditions in the world, caused by a microscopic mite – Sarcoptes scabiei var. hominis – that burrows into the skin and lays eggs, eventually triggering a host immune response that leads to intense itching and rash. Scabies infestation may result in bacterial infection, leading to more serious complications such as nephritis, rheumatic fever and sepsis. The burden of disease is particularly high in India, the Pacific Islands, and in Australia among Indigenous communities. In 2017, scabies was included in the World Health Organization’s list of neglected tropical diseases.
More than 200 million people suffer from scabies at any one time
of children infested in endemic, resource-poor tropical settings
World Health Organization. Ending the neglect to attain the Sustainable Development Goals: A road map for neglected tropical diseases.
World Health Organization. 2020 WHO Scabies fact sheet.
Up to 10% of children with scabies infestation show evidence of acute renal damage
The current first-line treatment for scabies is a topical agent (applied to the skin) such as permethrin and benzyl benzoate. Oral ivermectin (an anti-parasitic) is usually reserved for more serious cases. The biggest drawback to using topical agents is their need to cover and remain on the entire body for between eight to 24 hours, depending on the agent and the severity of the infestation. Ivermectin therapy is approved for use in only a handful of countries and so is not accessible to the vast majority of people in need. In addition, ivermectin has a short half-life, which usually results in the need to administer a second dose to ensure mites hatching from eggs are eliminated.
Moxidectin is currently being evaluated as a potential treatment for scabies in a Phase 2 dose-finding clinical trial sponsored by MDGH in France, Austria and Australia. A Phase 2b study is expected to begin in 2022.
A painful and debilitating disease of the lymph system affecting over 50 million people at any one time.
A soil-transmitted infection affecting up to 100 million people, particularly children.
A chronic infectious disease which may cause skin lesions and nerve damage found in 127 countries.