Novartis Institute for Tropical Diseases

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The Novartis Institute for Tropical Disease (NITD) is a Singapore-based tropical disease research institute created through a public-private partnership between Novartis and the Singapore Economic Development Board. Research at NITD focuses primarily on developing novel small molecule therapies for tropical infectious diseases that are endemic to the developing world, particularly dengue fever, malaria and tuberculosis.[1][2]

History and mission[edit]

NITD was founded in 2002 as a public-private partnership between Swiss-based pharmaceutical company Novartis and the Singapore Economic Development Board.[1]

NITD states its goals are "to discover novel treatments and prevention methods for major tropical diseases." Their website states they hope to have at least two drug candidates going through clinical trials in patients by the year 2012.[2]

Novartis has also stated that the NITD will seek to make treatments developed by the NITD available without profit to the poor in developing nations in which these diseases are endemic.[3]


NITD is a small molecule drug discovery research institute.[1]

Research is currently focused on three main diseases:[2]

NITD's research model relies on global partnership with other research institutes.[1] In 2008, NITD announced a 5-year collaborative research effort would be conducted in cooperation with the TB Alliance to develop new medicines for tuberculosis, including drug resistant tuberculosis.[4]


In addition to research, NITD is engaged in educational activities. It runs a research-based Master of Science program in fields related to infectious diseases in cooperation with National University of Singapore, University of Basel and Swiss Tropical Institute.[5] Some of the Notable Alumni from the Master program include Stephen Lu,[6] Lukas Tanner,[7] Martin Bratschi,[8] Paul Murima,[9] Yap Peiling [10] and Martin Rao [11] among others.

NITD also supports training opportunities for post-graduate students and post-doctoral fellows.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d "About NITD". Novartis AG. 2008. Retrieved 2008-12-23. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Our mission". Novartis AG. 2008. Retrieved 2008-12-23. 
  3. ^ "Commitment to Patients Earns Novartis' Dr. Daniel Vasella B'nai B'rith International's Highest Award". PharmaLive. Canon Communications Pharmaceutical Media Group. 2008-12-15. Retrieved 2008-12-23. Novartis has developed several programs aimed at enhancing affordability and access to treatment, including the Novartis Institute for Tropical Diseases, where Novartis researches novel treatments and prevention methods for neglected tropical diseases such as Dengue fever, and will make these available, without profit, to poor endemic countries. 
  4. ^ "Novartis symposium in Mozambique tackles emerging tuberculosis challenges" (media release). Basel, Switzerland: Novartis Global Communications. 2008-09-08. p. 5. Retrieved 2008-12-23. One of the core missions of the NITD is its commitment to improving access to medicines and helping reduce the overall global TB disease burden. The NITD recently announced a five-year research collaboration with the TB Alliance to develop new medicines for TB, including drug-resistant strains. 
  5. ^ "Master of Science in infectious diseases, vaccinology and drug discovery". Novartis AG. 2008. Archived from the original on December 31, 2008. Retrieved 2008-12-23. 
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