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Collaboration to Address Gaps in R&D and Access to Medicines in Thailand

Siriraj Institute of Clinical Research and Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative announce the signing of a memorandum of understanding to work together in conducting clinical research.

Announced in November 2020, the collaboration between Thailand’s Siriraj Institute of Clinical Research (SICRES) and the non-profit research and development (R&D) organization Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi) will focus on two distinctive areas of research and development. The first would be to collaborate on medical research in Thailand, particularly on the implementation and management of clinical trials for new treatments. The second is to partner to encourage and develop Thailand’s potential as a hub of excellence in medical research and development in South-East Asia.

“This alliance between SICRES and DNDi will enhance our medical R&D potential in neglected diseases and lead to improvements in patient treatment. As a well-established academic institution of the country, Siriraj is often described as the ‘Hospital of the Land’. SICRES by Siriraj aims to facilitate and conduct clinical research that will have a positive impact for human health. Collectively, we share similar goals that lead to improving the quality of life for patients. Our partnership creates an epic moment that will benefit the work, treatment and prevention of neglected diseases in the region and beyond.” said Professor Prasit Watanapa, M.D., Ph.D., Dean, Faculty of Medicine Siriraj Hospital.

The following are the research and development areas that are included within the agreement; promotion and foster collaborative medical R&D environment in Thailand with a focus on patients’ needs. Exploration of opportunities for the development of new treatments, for example for dengue, that have the potential to change patient management. To work together to support the Global Antibiotic Research and Development Partnership (GARDP) research and development activities on antimicrobial resistance in South-East Asia. Encourage and develop collaboration with other South-East Asia R&D actors (such as Clinical Research Malaysia (CRM) in Malaysia). Addressing the needs of neglected patients in Thailand through R&D and advocacy activities so that Thailand has access to safe, effective, and affordable treatments.

“I believe this collaborative partnership lays down the roots to build more R&D knowledge transfer and expand the capacity of expertise in Thailand. DNDi has a strong footprint in Thailand and South-East Asia and I am certain this MoU will contribute to support our work and fortify our partnerships,” said Dr Bernard Pécoul, M.D., M.P.H., Executive Director, DNDi.

This collaboration stems from the organizations’ shared commitment to improving the health and lives of Thai people affected by neglected diseases, and ensuring they have equitable access to affordable treatments. The memorandum of understanding is also an important step towards stimulating further bilateral research and development cooperation. The future research and development efforts of DNDi and SICRES will strive to contribute to and enhance Thailand’s public health response for neglected patients and diseases. [APBN]