The DOLF Team Supports a New Clinical Trial in Côte d’Ivoire to Test Safety of Moxidectin in Regions co-Endemic to Onchocerciasis and Lymphatic Filiariasis Onchocerciasis (oncho), also known as river blindness, is a serious, debilitating, and stigmatizing parasitic disease. It is a major neglected tropical disease that causes severe skin disease and blindness in more than 30 countries in Africa. Oncho often occurs together with lymphatic filariasis (LF), another parasitic disease that often presents in the form of enlarged body parts causing pain, severe disability, and associated stigma. Elimination programs for these diseases currently provide mass treatment with ivermectin to more than 100 million people in Africa each year. While this massive global health program (coordinated by the World Health Organization) has had a major impact, more effective treatments could accelerate the elimination of these diseases across Africa
With funding support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the DOLF team, in collaboration with partners at the Swiss Center for Scientific Research in Côte d’Ivoire (CSRS) and the study Sponsor, Medicines Development for Global Health (MDGH), recently launched a clinical trial in an area of Côte d’Ivoire that is co-endemic for oncho and LF. This study will further assess the safety of moxidectin, a newer drug approved by the US FDA for treatment of onchocerciasis shown in clinical trials to be superior to ivermectin for treatment of both diseases. The Côte d’Ivoire team is conducting the trial in parallel with another group recruiting participants in Ituri, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The Côte d’Ivoire site team aims to enroll 6,000 of approximately 12,500 participants, who will be randomly assigned to treatment with a single dose of either moxidectin or ivermectin together with another drug (albendazole) that is recommended for treatment of LF. The study will compare the rates of adverse events (medication side effects) that occur after these treatments.
Washington University PI, Philip Budge is providing technical assistance and oversight to Prof. Benjamin Koudou and the teams on the ground. “We are excited to be working with excellent partners at CSRS and MDGH to conduct this study, which could have a big impact on onchocerciasis and LF elimination efforts in Africa.”