Worldwide, there are close to one billion people suffering from neglected diseases.Most of them are poor and marginalized people living in rural areas of developing countries, such as Mexico. These diseases barely receive attention or resources despite their magnitude and impact on both economic development and the quality of life of the population. However, in recent years these diseases have attracted increasing interest, both for their impact on public health and for the human rights concerns they represent.
In response, Carlos Slim Foundation (FCS) launched a cutting-edge research project in partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Baylor College of Medicine and the Carter Center, to reduce the immunological gap and enhance the generation/production of vaccines and resources capable of fighting poverty-related diseases, including polio, dengue, onchocerciasis and Chagas disease.
It is another neglected disease endemic to the Americas. Since 2010, FCS has established an alliance with Baylor College of Medicine, the Autonomous University of Yucatan and CINVESTAV to develop the first vaccine based on two different molecules against Chagas disease, a chronic illness transmitted by the bite of the "kissing bug", which infects the wound with parasite-containing feces. The aim is to prevent complications due to this condition.
In experiments with mice and other animals where the vaccine was tested, it was observed that the animals did not develop the disease in the chronic stage (their hearts did not degenerate and they survived).
Stage 2 clinical trials are currently underway and, based on this year's achievements, human trials will also begin.