ACOZI-KIDS: Start of clinical trial for simplified treatment of sleeping sickness in children

Credits: Xavier Vahed-DNDi

The first child participating in the EDCTP2-funded ACOZI-KIDS clinical trial (NCT05433350) was treated for sleeping sickness on 15 July 2022 in Bandundu, in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). ACOZI-KIDS aims to assess a paediatric indication of acoziborole, a single-dose, oral treatment for all stages of sleeping sickness caused by T.b. gambiense, for children aged between 1 and 14 years. The trial is taking place in the DRC and Guinea.

Nine children aged between 11 and 14 years have been treated so far. The pharmacokinetic data from these first patients will be analysed to confirm or adapt the dosing regimen for younger patients.

The goal of the study is to make treatment of children with sleeping sickness much simpler. Giving an oral single-dose treatment at the point of diagnosis would avoid the need for painful lumbar punctures, costly hospitalisation in specialised health centres, and treatment using injections.

Sleeping sickness, or human African trypanosomiasis, is transmitted by infected tsetse flies and is endemic in 36 African countries. The disease is fatal without treatment. The T.b gambiense form of the disease accounts for more than 95% of reported cases.

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