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.

A staggering 40 percent of children under five years of age who live in low-resource settings experience growth stunting, and a syndrome known as environmental enteric dysfunction (EED) plays a significant role. This complex intestinal syndrome impairs young children’s cognitive and physical development, reduces protection from oral immunizations, and increases susceptibility to infections. With far-reaching implications for the health of families, communities, and emerging economies, there is a need to coordinate research efforts to identify, prioritize, test, and refine interventions and diagnostics for EED.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 »
  • Addressing environmental enteric dysfunction (EED). PATH is collaborating with a group of partners from academia and public and private sectors to develop a comprehensive product development platform to accelerate EED research and development over the next 10 years. 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. Through 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.