[Ip-health] PRESS RELEASE: Delivery of child-friendly antimalarial hits the 100 million mark

Elizabeth Poll polle at mmv.org
Tue Feb 21 22:45:12 PST 2012

Dear Colleagues,

I am delighted to be able to share exciting news with you that the delivery 
of the child-friendly antimalarial, Coartem*®* *Dispersible, *has reached 
the 100 million mark.

Please find attached the press release (also included below) as well as a 
Coartem*®* *Dispersible* fact sheet. 

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.

Best wishes,



Elizabeth Poll
Editor and Publications Officer
T +41 22 799 45 81
M +41 79 907 59 92
polle at mmv.org

Sign-up for our e-news and keep up-to-date with MMV's progress<http://www.mmv.org/about-us/subscribe>

*Medicines for Malaria Venture | MMV*




*PRESS RELEASE                                 ***

*Delivery of child-friendly antimalarial hits the 100 million mark


*Geneva, 22 February 2012**.* One hundred million treatments of Coartem® *
Dispersible* (artemether-lumefantrine), an antimalarial developed 
especially for children with *Plasmodium falciparum* malaria, have been 
delivered by Novartis to 39 malaria-endemic countries, Medicines for 
Malaria Venture (MMV) announced today.

Coartem*®* *Dispersible* is the product of the partnership between MMV and 
Novartis. It is the first WHO prequalified child-friendly 
artemisinin-combination therapy (ACT) and addresses an unmet need for 
paediatric medicines. Young children in Africa are disproportionately 
affected by malaria, with 86% of malaria deaths occurring in children under 
the age of 5 years.

Ahead of the international community’s call for better child-friendly 
medicines, MMV and Novartis signed an agreement in 2003 to develop the 
first paediatric ACT. The child-friendly formulation was launched in 2009. 

“This is indeed a landmark achievement for both Novartis and MMV,” said 
MMV’s CEO, David Reddy. “Never before have 100 million paediatric treatments 
been distributed in such a short time frame to assist children suffering 
from malaria. Today, we have proved that partnerships can succeed in not 
only developing new, high-quality medicines for malaria but also delivering 
these to vulnerable populations. This success only increases our 
determination to address remaining unmet medical needs by bringing forward 
new antimalarial medicines as our part in defeating this disease. We are 
indebted to our partners like Novartis and to our donors**,* who are 
crucial to the success of MMV.”  

“Reaching the 100 million milestone in less than 3 years is the culmination 
of a successful collaboration between Novartis and MMV,” said Linus 
Igwemezie, Head of the Novartis Malaria Initiative. “Partnerships are at 
the core of the Novartis Malaria Initiative and we are delighted at the 
success these collaborations have had in providing effective malaria 
treatments to millions of patients who are most in need. There is still 
much to be done and we are committed to continue applying our innovation 
power to help improve access to affordable and quality antimalarials.”

"The success of Coartem® *Dispersible* shows why research and development 
is at the heart of the British Government's fight against malaria,” said 
Stephen O’Brien, Under-Secretary of State for International Development, UK. 
“Product Development Partnerships, such as Medicines for Malaria Venture, 
bring together the public and private sectors to use their combined 
expertise to develop new drugs. Children are the most vulnerable to this 
deadly disease. By developing this paediatric treatment, Medicines for 
Malaria Venture and Novartis have given the hope of a healthier life to 
millions of the world's poorest children.”

Focused measures have been taken to facilitate the uptake of this medicine, 
including registration in 39 malaria-endemic countries, a without-profit 
pricing model and special packaging designed to improve compliance. These 
measures have not only led to increased demand but also to an accelerated 
uptake, underlining the advantage of the paediatric formulation. By 
reaching this milestone the Novartis Malaria Initiative and MMV have proven 
that drug development partnerships can truly advance the fight against 

For further information please contact:


Jaya Banerji

Director, Advocacy & Communications

Tel: +41 22 799 4071

Mob: +41 79 707 7181

email: banerjij at mmv.org**

* *



This document contains certain forward-looking statements that may be 
identified by words such as ‘believes’, ‘expects’, ‘anticipates’, 
‘projects’, ‘intends’, ‘should’, ‘seeks’, ‘estimates’, ‘future’ or similar 
expressions, or by discussion of, among other things, vision, strategy, 
goals, plans, or intentions. It contains hypothetical future product target 
profiles, development timelines and approval/launch dates, positioning 
statements, claims and actions for which the relevant data may still have 
to be established. Stated or implied strategies and action items may be 
implemented only upon receipt of approvals including, but not limited to, 
local institutional review board approvals, local regulatory approvals, and 
following local laws and regulations. Thus, actual results, performances or 
events may differ from those expressed or implied by such statements.  

We ask you not rely unduly on these statements. Such forward-looking 
statements reflect the current views of Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV) 
and its partner(s) regarding future events, and involve known and unknown 
risks and uncertainties.   

MMV accepts no liability for the information presented here, nor for the 
consequences of any actions taken on the basis of this information. 
Furthermore, MMV accepts no liability for the decisions made by its 
pharmaceutical partner(s), the impact of any of their decisions, their 
earnings and their financial status.

*Notes for Editors*

* *

Young children in Africa are disproportionately affected by malaria with 
86% of malaria deaths occurring in children under the age of five. However, 
malaria does not only kill, it also debilitates. It is the cause of nearly 
20% of low-birth weight babies in malaria-endemic regions and 6% of of 
these end in fatality (Guyatt & Snow, 2004). Severe malaria often leads to 
cerebral damage, hindering a child’s mental development (Roll Back Malaria, 
2002). Malaria also contributes heavily to malnutrition, an underlying 
cause of death in more than half of all fatalities in children under five (The 
Lancet, 2008).**

A randomized, multicentre study in approx. 900 children weighing 5-35kg 
with uncomplicated *P. falciparum* malaria in 5 African countries 
demonstrated that this innovative, child-friendly ACT has a comparable 
safety and efficacy profile to crushed tablets of its parent drug Coartem®. 
The sweet-tasting formulation disperses in small amounts of liquid, is easy 
to administer to young children, ensures effective dosing, and has a proven 
high cure rate of 97.8% (Abdulla S *et al*, 2008).


Abdulla S *et al*. Efficacy and safety of artemether-lumefantrine 
dispersible tablets compared with crushed commercial tablets in African 
infants and children with uncomplicated malaria: a randomised, 
single-blind, multicentre trial. *The Lancet, *Volume 372, pp. 1819-1827 

Guyatt H & Snow R. Impact of Malaria during Pregnancy on Low Birth Weight 
in Sub-Saharan Africa. *Clinical Microbiology Reviews, *17(4), pp. 760-769 

Roll Back Malaria. *Reducing malaria’s impact on child health, development 
and survival.* (2002)* *[Online] 
Available at: *http://www.rbm.who.int/docs/Childhealth_eng.pdf*
[Accessed 10 January 2012].

The Lancet. *The Lancet’s Series on Maternal and Child Undernutrition*
 (2008).* *[Online] 
Available at: *http://tc.iaea.org/tcweb/abouttc/tcseminar/Sem6-ExeSum.pdf*
[Accessed 10 January 2012]

*About MMV*


MMV is recognized as the leading product development partnership (PDP) in 
the field of antimalarial drug research and development. It was established 
as a foundation in 1999, and registered in Switzerland. 

*MMV’s mission* is to reduce the burden of malaria in disease-endemic 
countries by discovering, developing and facilitating delivery of new, 
effective and affordable antimalarial drugs. 

*MMV’s vision* is a world in which these innovative medicines will cure and 
protect the vulnerable and under-served populations at risk of malaria, and 
help to ultimately eradicate this terrible disease.

MMV’s strength comes from its product development partnership (PDP) model 
reflected in its network of more than 170 pharmaceutical, academic and 
endemic-country partners in 45 countries. MMV also works in close 
partnership with a number of WHO programmes that include the Special 
Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases (TDR), the Global 
Malaria Programme (GMP) and Roll Back Malaria (RBM). 

MMV is currently managing the largest portfolio of antimalarial R&D 
projects ever assembled. Of over 50 promising projects, one MMV-supported 
artemisinin combination therapy (ACT), Pyramax® (pyronaridine-artesunate), 
is undergoing regulatory review by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) in 
2012. In October 2011, dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine (Eurartesim®), an ACT 
developed in partnership with sigma-tau, was granted regulatory approval by 
the EMA and in November 2010, Guilin’s artesunate injection for the 
treatment of severe malaria was approved by the WHO’s Prequalification 
programme with assistance from MMV. In addition, Coartem® *Dispersible*(artemether-lumefantrine), a child-friendly version of the ACT Coartem®, 
was developed by Novartis in partnership with MMV and launched in 2009. 

The key to MMV’s success lies in the focus of its mission, and the 
diversity of its team of almost 50 personnel from more than 20 countries, 
handpicked for their expertise and commitment to global health. 

Since foundation, MMV has received financial support from the following 
donors: Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; UK DFID; Rockefeller Foundation; 
Netherlands Minister Devt. Co-operation; WHO/RBM; Swiss Government 
(DEZA/SDC); World Bank; Wellcome Trust; ExxonMobil Foundation; BHP 
Billiton; USAID; EU CRIMALDDI; Irish Aid; National Institutes of Health 
(NIH); Spanish Agency for International Development; Newcrest.


* *

*About the Novartis Malaria Initiative*


Focused on access, treatment, R&D and capacity-building, the Novartis 
Malaria Initiative is one of the healthcare industry’s largest 
access-to-medicine programs measured by the number of patients reached 
annually. Since 2001, the initiative has delivered over 400 million malaria 
treatments without profit to the public sector in more than 60 countries, 
contributing to saving an estimated 1 million lives. Over the last two 
years, Novartis and partners have discovered two new classes of compounds 
with great antimalarial potential. And just recently, the access project 
“SMS for Life” was honored by the UN’s Innovation Working Group and mHealth 
Alliance for helping advance the goals of the UN Secretary-General's Every 
Woman Every Child Initiative. Together with our partners, we are committed 
to the common goal of malaria elimination.



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