Pharmaceutical companies generally develop and test very few drugs for neglected tropical diseases that only affect people in developing countries. Non-commercial research groups try to fill this vacuum and sometimes, but not always, collaborate with commercial companies in the process. In addition to testing new drugs they deal with issues not addressed by commercial research, such as an independent comparison of existing therapies.
ITM develops and carries out clinical trials in developing countries for diseases such as malaria, tuberculosis and leishmaniasis and strengthens the research capacity of partner institutions. ITM currently leads more than ten clinical trials for new drugs and diagnostics in developing countries, including two complex malaria studies covering several African countries.