A·WOL receives $3.5 million supplementary grant

News article 10 Dec 2015

The A·WOL programme is pleased to announce a $3.5 million supplementary grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) for the continuation of the A·WOL Macrofilaricidal Drug Discovery & Development Programme.

The additional funding will allow the programme to continue until the end of 2017, allowing further research into their lead drug candidates in the development of a novel anti-Wolbachia (A·WOL) based macrofilaricidal drug for the treatment of the neglected tropical diseases; onchocerciasis (river blindness) and lymphatic filariasis (elephantiasis).

The A·WOL consortium is headed by LSTM’s Head of Parasitology, Professor Mark Taylor with LSTM’s Deputy Director, Professor Steve Ward leading our drug discovery, and consists of both academic and industrial partners funded by the BMGF and G-HIT. The aim is to develop new drugs against onchocerciasis and lymphatic filariasis by targeting the bacterial symbiont – Wolbachia. Wolbachia is a bacterium that lives within the parasitic worms that is essential for parasite growth, fertility and survival.

Professor Mark Taylor said: “We are very grateful for the continued support of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and this further extension to the award is an endorsement of the progress made so far in our search for a new macrofilaricide. Both onchocerciasis and lymphatic filariasis are diseases that disproportionately affect people living among the poorest communities in world, and this additional funding provides us with an opportunity to produce a novel therapy that could contribute to their elimination.”

You can learn more about the programme here.