Pfizer has just taken a significant step in that direction.
The world's biggest pharmaceutucal company has announced a collaboration that gives access to its library of medicinal compounds â€“ the worldâ€™s largest â€“ and also brings scientists from developing countries into Pfizerâ€™s laboratories for training in drug discovery techniques.
The collaboration with The Special Program for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases of the WHO (WHO/TDR) is part of a new effort to link the research resources of a major pharmaceutical company to a global network of discovery research, and speed the search for new drugs to combat some of the worldâ€™s most deadly parasitic diseases, including malaria, leishmaniasis, African trypanosomiasis, onchocerciasis, schistosomiasis and Chagas' disease.
Under the arrangement, scientists in institutes affiliated with the WHO/TDR-sponsored Compound Evaluation Network are testing thousands of compounds from the Pfizer library. In a process called â€œscreeningâ€, the researchers are seeking to identify â€œhitsâ€ â€“ compounds that show initial activity against a range of tropical parasites.