It has been a busy three years since our 2016 launch. IDDO’s expertise evolved from its experience as the WorldWide Antimalarial Resistance Network (WWARN) – a scientifically independent collaboration, generating new evidence on poverty-related infectious diseases (PRIDs) through data re-use. WWARN has spent a decade producing policy-changing research to optimise and tailor treatment recommendations for patients through the aggregation and analysis of global malaria data.
Malaria data from over 180,000 patients from more than 600 databases has been collated, standardised and made available for re-use by researchers in the field. WWARN’s approach has been adapted as IDDO to address key knowledge gaps and accelerate the development of more effective therapeutic interventions for the more than one billion people around the world affected by PRIDs.
IDDO focuses on diseases targeted in the WHO list of neglected tropical diseases and priority pathogens with epidemic and pandemic potential. Despite ongoing work in the field, too many of the current treatments for PRIDs remain inadequate and still rely on one-size-fits-all regimens developed decades ago.
IDDO’s work supports the delivery of several of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) (see image) and alongside malaria, it now has global collaborations in visceral leishmaniasis (VL), Ebola, medicine quality, Chagas, schistosomiasis and soil-transmitted helminthiases (STHs), with many others in the pipeline. Ebola is currently evolving into an emerging infections platform which integrates data across outbreaks of pathogens which pose an epidemic risk.
The success of IDDO’s work hinges on strong partnerships and together with the Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative (DNDi), we aim to accelerate the drug discovery pathway by ensuring that all future scientific work across Chagas disease and VL is founded on the most complete aggregation of the existing evidence.
IDDO also works in partnership with TDR (the Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases) on research capacity building in low-resource settings and the development of best practice in data sharing governance. TDR has been instrumental in the development of the schistosomiasis and STHs platforms and in the chairmanship of the IDDO and Ebola Data Access Committees.
IDDO works with wider research communities globally to identify and prioritise research questions, and provides tools and resources that improve the design and quality of clinical studies. Proposals to launch new research collaborations are a community-driven process with scoping currently taking place for scrub typhus and melioidosis. Our partnership approach develops research capacity in low- and middle-income countries. This ensures that expert communities continue to grow where the diseases are prevalent and that they can both contribute and gain immediate benefit from global research efforts.