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Genzyme Corp. (Cambridge, MA, www.genzyme.com) and the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (FIOCRUZ, www.fiocruz.br) have announced plans to collaborate on research into new drugs focusing on neglected diseases.
The companies will initially focus on two specific research programs. The first will focus on identifying new biological targets within the parasite that causes Chagas disease and will include screening for potential compounds that affect these targets and which could be developed into drugs. The second program will test the effectiveness of using monoclonal antibodies to neutralize a protein that contributes to heart damage in Chagas disease, known as transforming growth factor-beta.
The partnership agreement includes an innovative approach to intellectual property rights, providing FIOCRUZ rights to commercial uses within the field of neglected diseases on a royalty-free basis.