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DISEASE INFORMATION

Scabies

We’re working on a new treatment for this common, infectious skin condition

OVERVIEW

What is scabies?

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.

THE STATS

Why are we targeting this disease?

200M

More than 200 million people suffer from scabies at any one time

5–10%

of children infested in endemic, resource-poor tropical settings

10%

Up to 10% of children with scabies infestation show evidence of acute renal damage

INFOGRAPHIC

Transmission stages of Onchocerca volvulus

WHAT we're DOING

Moxidectin

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.

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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