Doctoral student in sociology of health and innovation, EHESS
Dissertation title: The ecosystem of innovation in the context of leishmaniasis – scientific, economic and political issues at a regional and international level
Maurice Cassier, thesis director
Leishmaniasis is a neglected tropical disease that is endemic in 98 countries or territories. Its annual incidence is around 2 million new cases worldwide. According to WHO, neglected tropical diseases are defined as diseases that are sometimes lethal, sometimes debilitating. They are mainly characterised as lacking adapted treatment(s), which can be attributed to the absence of commercially viable markets.
The importance of this disease on a worldwide scale, along with a lack of involvement of the private sector in the development of new treatments, has gained the attention of diverse actors, notably public research institutes and international organisations. These have contacted the private sector in order to share the costs and risks of developing new medicines for leishmaniasis, thus establishing public-private partnerships.
In this context, this research aims in the first place to examine the power relationships at work in public-private partnerships for the development of new medicines for leishmaniasis. It also describes the process of production and diffusion of scientific knowledge within this approach to innovation. This research looks in particular at the role and place of businesses, mainly the pharmaceutical industry, in the sharing of information and the provision of the new products to patients.
Secondly, this thesis analysis the itinerary of the drugs destined to treat leishmaniasis. This second axis of research is based on the hypothesis of a transformation and adaptation of the therapeutic innovation for leishmaniasis, as a function of the contexts in which it is used, including geographical regions and the nature of the actors involved.