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16 May 2016

The Drug Discovery Unit of the University of Dundee, Scotland, the Institute of Parasitology and Tropical Veterinary Medicine (IPTVM) of the Freie Universität Berlin, Germany, and Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health, Germany, today announced they have initiated first steps for a partnership to discover new and effective treatments for parasitic diseases which affect companion animals and livestock.

Parasites are a major cause of disease in animals, often impacting animal welfare and leading to significant economic loss for farmers. The intention of the three parties is to intensify their partnership in the near future.

“The situation with these diseases is not dissimilar to what we see in neglected human diseases, where existing treatments are often ineffective and increasingly subject to parasitic resistance,” said Professor Paul Wyatt, Director of the Drug Discovery Unit at the University of Dundee. “So we desperately need to find new drugs that can treat these diseases. At the Drug Discovery Unit we have an established reputation in the delivery of potential new drug treatments for devastating parasitic diseases in humans, including malaria. That expertise is being utilised through this project to find new treatments for animal diseases.”

“The Institute for Parasitology and Tropical Veterinary Medicine at the Freie Universität Berlin has a long standing expertise in the identification and characterisation as well as clinical testing of new parasiticides,” said Professor Georg von Samson-Himmelstjerna, Director of the IPTVM.  “Furthermore, the increasing problem of antiparasiticide resistance, which represents a major threat for animal health and productivity, is a key research area at our institute in Berlin. The finding of novel, resistance-breaking compounds is of ultimate importance for the successful future control of parasitic diseases.”

“There is a continuous need for innovative antiparasitic solutions for animals. Therefore, Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health is excited to partner with two world leading institutions towards the discovery of new antiparasitics for the benefit of our customers,” said Professor Paul M. Selzer, Head of Antiparasitcs Research & Development at Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health.

Financial details of the cooperation were not disclosed.