ST. LOUIS, Feb. 18, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The
Center for World Health & Medicine at Saint Louis University
and China’s Guangzhou Institutes of Biomedicine and Health (GIBH)
are forming a global research partnership that initially will focus
on new treatments for malaria.
The organizations are not only connected by a shared commitment
to fight a devastating disease, but their key leaders are former
Pfizer Inc. drug discovery scientists who formerly worked together
in Chesterfield, Mo.
GIBH is part of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, a premier
government scientific research organization in China, which is
similar to the U.S. National Science Foundation. Its chief
technology officer and vice president of research, Micky
Tortorella, has held the position for more than a year after
The Center for World Health & Medicine began with a dozen
scientists at Saint Louis University in July, with a goal of
turning basic science research into drugs that combat diseases and
medical problems that largely afflict the developing world.
“This is the first step in setting up an international network
of collaboration fueled by scientists with expertise in drug
discovery. This alliance gives us a global expertise, and provides
a real opportunity to succeed, in terms of developing safe,
effective and affordable new drugs,” said Peter Ruminski, executive
director of the Center for World Health & Medicine.
“Malaria is becoming increasingly resistant to current
treatments. We need new classes of drugs to attack this
deadly disease, which kills between one and three million people a
year. We think it is important for there to be multiple therapeutic
options for treating malaria, as there are for HIV or for bacterial
infections, and this partnership will add significantly to efforts
aimed at achieving that goal.”
Tortorella said there is a real need for novel approaches to
treat malaria, which is a d