Advocating For New Diarrheal Disease Treatments

Ruzanna Harutyunyan's picture

The Institute for OneWorld Health, the US-based non-profit pharmaceutical company that develops drugs for people with neglected infectious diseases in the developing world, today marked World Water Day by advocating for new drug therapies, in addition to clean water initiatives, to combat the epidemic of diarrheal disease in developing countries.

“Diarrheal diseases kill more than 2 million children annually and contribute to the deaths of an additional four million children each year. The global public health community must redouble our efforts to save millions of lives needlessly lost each year,” said Dr. Richard Chin, M.D., OneWorld Health’s Chief Executive Officer.


“OneWorld Health is proud to be developing safe, effective, and affordable medicines to treat diarrheal disease and we commend those working to bring clean water to impoverished communities and thus help prevent diarrheal disease, which is all too often caused by unclean water.”

OneWorld Health is assembling a portfolio of product candidates that will address various aspects of diarrheal diseases, with a special focus on the needs of young infants and children. Diarrheal diseases are a leading cause of death in children under the age of five worldwide, and the pediatric death toll due to diarrheal disease exceeds that of AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria combined.

Research at OneWorld Health is aimed at developing novel treatments for different diarrheal diseases, such as exploring anti-secretory drugs that inhibit the loss of fluid in the intestine, which is a significant factor in morbidity and mortality. These drugs are designed to be used as an adjunct to oral rehydration therapy (ORT) for the treatment of life-threatening enterotoxigenic E. coli (ETEC) and cholera, which are responsible for nearly 40% of reported cases of diarrheal disease.

OneWorld Health is conducting searches to license potential drug candidates and has consulted with leading researchers to evaluate promising products and identify key development challenges. We are also investigating possible treatment to Shigellosis (dysentery) as well as the use of zinc to mitigate the effects of acute diarrhea.