Drug Development Global Program


The world has an urgent need for safe, effective, and affordable treatments for diarrhea and the underlying enteric infections that cause it. In 2015, more than half a million children under five years old died as a result of severe diarrhea, making it the second most common killer of young children after pneumonia.1 Without adequate prevention and treatment options, survivors of diarrhea are often left weakened and vulnerable to re-infection and other opportunistic illnesses, including pneumonia, leading to an unrelenting cycle of poverty and poor health.

Chronic diarrhea and related enteric infections are particularly dangerous for young children, whose brains and bodies are undergoing rapid growth and development. Repeated bouts of infection can lead to gut damage and a syndrome known as environmental enteric dysfunction (EED), which impedes the absorption of nutrients and weakens the immune system. EED and associated conditions, such as malnutrition, contribute to growth stunting and deficits in cognitive development and have far reaching implications for the health of families, communities, and emerging economies.2

To reduce this burden, PATH is working to expand and strengthen available tools and treatment options. This work includes:

  • New drugs for Cryptosporidium infection. To address Cryptosporidium infection, one of the leading causes of moderate-to-severe diarrhea in young children, PATH is working with partners to identify and advance the most promising drug candidates. Learn more »
  • Advancing iOWH032, a novel antisecretory drug for cholera. With partners, PATH is developing iOWH032, a first-in-class synthetic drug to treat acute secretory diarrhea. By providing faster relief of diarrhea symptoms, iOWH032 has the potential to complement oral rehydration solution (ORS) for improved patient care and decreased cost of care. Learn more »
  • Convening the Symposium on Innovative Therapeutics for CryptosporidiumNew therapies are urgently needed to reduce the global burden of enteric infections such as Cryptosporidium and alleviate their long-term effects. PATH convenes a bi-annual symposium to speed progress against the Cryptosporidium parasite by highlighting opportunities for development of new treatments. Learn more »
  • Cochairing the Diarrhea Innovations Group (DIG). PATH houses DIG’s efforts to defeat diarrhea and address its long-term effects through global collaboration aimed at development of new diagnostic and therapeutic technologies and approaches. Learn more »

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1. Liu L, Oza S, Hogan D, et al. Global, regional, and national causes of under-5 mortality in 2000–15: an updated systematic analysis with implications for the Sustainable Development Goals. The Lancet. 388(10063);3027–3035. Available at: http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(16)31593-8/abstract. Accessed January 24, 2017.

2. International Food Policy Research Institute. 2016. Global Nutrition Report 2016: From Promise to Impact: Ending Malnutrition by 2030. Washington, DC. Available at: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs330/en/. Accessed July 18, 2016.