This is a big day for my girlfriend and partner, Lisa Conte, and for her family, friends, and colleagues. A drug that her company, Napo Pharmaceuticals, has been developing for almost 20 years has succeeded spectacularly in phase III trials, which means that it's very likely to be approved by the FDA, probably early next year.
The drug, Crofelemer, was found to be an astonishingly effective treatment for diarrhea, shutting down the hydration process that causes the condition. It will make a major impact on the 2 million children who die of this malady each year, and for those suffering from cholera - and also for AIDS patients whose meds cause terrible diarrhea. The current trial focused on the AIDS indication - the other indications (plus a trial using the drug to treat Irritable Bowel Syndrome) are also in late stage human testing.
Many of you are well aware of Lisa's hard work and incredible tenacity - and the many ups and downs of getting this drug to this stage. You also know the story of her two companies, Shaman and Napo, and their efforts to use the wisdom of healers in the rainforest to develop medicinal plants into modern drugs. In the case of Crofelemer, the drug comes from a tree in the Amazon basin that is a natural product, sustainably harvested and then manufactured into a pharmaceutical that will impact the lives of millions in the developing and the developed world. Lisa also has a unique business model and a plan to get the drug to everyone who needs it.
Learn more by reading Napo's press release.