Bend Biomedical has five primary disease targets: lymphatic filariasis (elephantiasis), onchocerciasis (river blindness), soil-transmitted helminths (intestinal worms), congenital syphilis (mother to fetus transmission), and vitamin A deficiency (blindness and related deaths).
Over one billion people are afflicted by one or more of these diseases in the regions of Africa, Central America, South America, the Middle East, South Asia, and Southeast Asia. Children are disproportionately affected.
South Asia has 23 million people with lymphatic filariasis, and there are 40 million cases globally. Africa has 21 million people with onchocerciasis. Preventive chemotherapy for soil-transmitted helminths is needed by 600 million children worldwide. Yearly, there are over 600,000 cases of congenital syphilis that result in 200,000 fetal deaths, stillbirths, and neonatal deaths. And each year, between 250,000 and 500,000 children with vitamin A deficiency become blind; half of them die within 12 months of losing their sight.
Our current medicines will also treat additional conditions including scabies, strongyloidiasis, and other filarial infections. They can further be used as prevention for malaria and rheumatic heart disease.
Future targets include under-five mortality, trachoma, yaws, schistosomiasis, foodborne trematodiases, taeniasis, and falciparum malaria.