Neglected infectious diseases (NIDs) affect millions of individuals, predominantly in low-resource settings. These diseases are critical drivers of poverty worldwide. Ten NIDs have been identified for control or elimination by 2020 in The London Declaration - a policy document signed by funders and industry partners. The London Declaration Diagnostics Working Group hopes to engage diagnostic companies in the goals of the Declaration by identifying opportunities for investment in diagnostics.
To support the goals of this working group, the NID Team at the Foundation enlisted the support of The START Program to work toward three objectives:
- Objective 1: Conduct a systematic landscape analysis of diagnostic technologies available for priority NIDs
- Objective 2: Conduct a systematic landscape analysis of promising biomarkers that could be developed into diagnostic tools
- Objective 3: Provide support in building a case for investment in diagnostics to present to industry partners
In support of this work, the START team developed comprehensive diagnostic tool inventories and priority biomarker inventories for the working group's highest priority diseases: schistosomiasis, soil-transmitted helminths (A. duodenale, A. lumbricoides, N. americanus, S. stercoralis and T. trichiura) and trachoma. In addition, the START team developed target product profiles (TPP) to describe ideal diagnostic technologies for each disease, and built out potential cases to present to industry partners.
The inventories created by the START team continue to be utilized by members of the London Declaration Diagnostics Working Group and the broader NID community as these neglected diseases move toward elimination.