New PLOS and DNDi Collection Highlights R&D in Neglected Tropical Diseases

As part of a collaborative initiative, PLOS and the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi) will be launching a special collection, PLOS & DNDi: a decade of Open Access and Neglected Tropical Diseases R&D (Research and Development), to coincide with a joint event at the Institut Pasteur in Paris celebrating the 10-year anniversary of DNDi.

In addition to being the same age, PLOS and DNDi have much in common. Both organizations have broken convention, both have pushed boundaries, and both have successfully combined the pursuit of quality scientific research and its publication with strong advocacy.

The Collection showcases the best of open access R&D for neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). The 21 articles in the collection from across the PLOS journals highlight the journey over the past decade from advocacy, new innovations and partnerships, to the scientific research of new drugs.

For example, a collection article on Chagas disease discusses how the poorest people living in the Mexico and the U.S. are still silently suffering under the heavy burden of this infection. Another shows that although estimated to cause the ninth largest disease burden among individual infectious diseases, leishmaniasis is largely ignored in discussions of tropical disease priorities. And the collection also highlights human African trypanosomiasis, fatal if left untreated, afflicting sub-Saharan Africa despite being nearly eliminated in the past.

 "We must take this opportunity to reflect on our 10 years of experience and look at how open models are serving the greater public health good, especially for those who need it most,"  says Dr Bernard Pécoul, executive director of DNDi. "DNDi and PLOS are both experiments from which many important lessons can be learned to guide future directions in research."

Rhona MacDonald, senior editor at PLOS Medicine, says, "We hope that in addition to celebrating and commemorating the past 10 years of research and development for neglected tropical diseases, the Collection will inspire action and galvanize scientists, the pharmaceutical industry and the wider international community to find tangible solutions."

Visit the collection when it goes live on Dec. 4, 2013 at 9 a.m. PT at: