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Four clinical trials impacting high disease burden in LMICs will start soon

By: PRLog

Cures Within Reach also announces its latest success story and a multi-year grant from Open Philanthropy focused on LMICs

CHICAGO - Jan. 23, 2024 - PRLog -- Cures Within Reach (CWR), a global nonprofit that identifies and funds clinical trials testing approved therapies for new uses, recently selected 4 clinical trials in low and lower-middle income countries (LMICs) to impact high disease burden issues for patients in LMICs with readily available therapies. These 4 trials bring CWR's LMIC portfolio to 13 clinical trials: 6 ongoing, 3 recently completed plus these 4 expected to start in 2024.

CWR's newest success story is also its first LMIC-based clinical trial to finish: treating tuberculosis in Nigeria by adding the generic drug atorvastatin to the standard of care led by Dr. Olanisun Olufemi Adewole at Obafemi Awolowo University in Nigeria. This CWR-funded Phase IIA clinical trial started in late 2020 and completed in late 2022, resulting in a publication of its positive results in early 2023. In addition, more than $300,000 in follow-on funding has already been received by Obafemi Awolowo University to fund the larger, confirmatory clinical study.

"The support that I received from Cures Within Reach has enabled me to advance my research to not only accelerate a tuberculosis cure, but also to reduce post-tuberculosis damage that impairs survivors' quality of life which leads to huge healthcare cost utilization," said Dr. Adewole, Professor of Medicine & Consultant Physician and Pulmonologist, Department of Medicine at Obafemi Awolowo University and Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospitals in Nigeria. "Even though LMICs, and Africa in particular, have high disease burden, less than 4% of clinical trials take place in Africa. Thanks to Cures Within Reach for providing unique clinical trial funding support to LMIC researchers, which is bearing fruit in many dimensions."

The 4 new clinical trials selected in late 2023 as part of CWR's LMIC efforts hope to follow Dr. Adewole's path: successful proof-of-concept trials could provide critical data for larger confirmatory studies or for future off-label clinical use. The trials are:

  1. Using Sodium Bicarbonate to Reduce Maternal / Fetal Death from Acidosis During Obstructed Labor in Uganda at Busitema University led by Milton Musaba, PhD
  2. Testing a Generic Drug Combination to Treat AML in Tanzania at Muhimbili University Health and Allied Sciences led by Christina Malichewe, MMED
  3. Adding Zinc to Reduce Sickle Cell Anemia-related Infections in Ugandan Children at Global Health Uganda led by Ruth Namazzi, MMED
  4. Adding Beta-lactam to Shorten Buruli Ulcer Disease Therapy in Benin at Université d'Abomey-Calavi led by Dr. Roch Christian Johnson

CWR is deploying funds from its new funding partner, Open Philanthropy, for these 4 clinical trials. Open Philanthropy is a grantmaking organization which aims to use its resources to help others as much as it can. This multi-year grant, focused on impacting high disease burden of patients living in LMICs, is supporting the expansion of CWR's ReGRoW initiative, now in its 5th year. ReGRoW was initially supported by Takeda's Center for Health Equity and Patient Affairs to find and fund LMIC-based clinical trials led by LMIC-based researchers to impact LMIC-based patients using readily available generic drugs, nutraceuticals and/or indigenous medicines.

"We're very excited about the impact Cures Within Reach's approach can have on reducing disease burden in low- and middle- income countries. We think that generic repurposing is a promising strategy which can yield patient impact relatively quickly and is highly cost-effective," said Ray Kennedy, Program Officer at Open Philanthropy. "CWR is tapping into a rich seam of ideas from researchers in LMICs, who often would otherwise not receive funding. Their process for selecting applicants is rigorous but also supportive, and builds research capacity in LMICs. We have already provided follow-on funding to one of their researchers."

CWR's customized approach allows donors the ability to support a specific disease, patient population or geographic region, as well as flexibility and control over their involvement during the selection process.

"We are pleased to support these low-risk, high-reward efforts to impact patients in LMICs while building clinical trial capacity by funding LMIC-based clinicians and researchers," said Barbara Goodman, President & CEO of Cures Within Reach. "We are playing a pivotal role in finding new treatments for unsolved diseases by providing funding for first-in-human clinical trials required to quickly reach patients everywhere."

About Cures Within Reach
Cures Within Reach (CWR) is a US-based nonprofit leader leveraging the speed, safety and cost-effectiveness of testing already approved therapies for unsolved diseases: driving more treatments to more patients more quickly. CWR provides seed funds for first-in-human or pivotal studies that, when successful, allow a catalytic effect of follow-on funding for trials that build clinical evidence for physicians to make decisions with their patients (called off-label use) or for regulatory approval. CWR's 2024 initiatives include clinical trials impacting veterans; pediatrics and underrepresented patients and researchers. CWR currently has a global portfolio of 42 funded trials at 34 institutions in 30 diseases in 9 countries. Visit

Clare Thibodeaux, PhD

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Source: Cures Within Reach

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