[Ip-health] PRESS RELEASE: Delivery of child-friendly antimalarial hits the 100 million mark
polle at mmv.org
Tue Feb 21 22:45:12 PST 2012
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.
Editor and Publications Officer
T +41 22 799 45 81
M +41 79 907 59 92
polle at mmv.org
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*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:
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
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*
Available at: *http://tc.iaea.org/tcweb/abouttc/tcseminar/Sem6-ExeSum.pdf*
[Accessed 10 January 2012]
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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