Anacor Pharmaceuticals and the Institute for OneWorld Health have entered into a joint research agreement to research antibacterial compounds to treat shigellosis, commonly known as bloody diarrhoea.

The institute has received funding for the project from the UK’s Department for International Development.

Anacor Pharmaceuticals CEO David Perry said that the company has demonstrated that its boron-based chemistry platform and strength in antibacterial research has the potential to create new antibiotics.

“We hope to leverage these to address a disease that affects over one hundred million people annually,” Perry said.

Shigellosis is an infectious disease caused by the gram-negative bacterium of the Shigella genus. The condition affects an estimated 80-165 million people worldwide and causes an estimated 600,000 deaths each year.

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