Delivery of child-friendly antimalarial hits the 100 million mark

February 22, 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 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 Malaria Initiative and MMV have proven that drug development partnerships can truly advance the fight against .

Explore further: Pyramax receives positive opinion from the EMA

Related Stories

Pyramax receives positive opinion from the EMA

February 21, 2012
Pyramax, a fixed-dose combination of pyronaridine and artesunate, becomes the first antimalarial to be granted a positive scientific opinion from the European Medicines Agency (EMA) under Article 58. This once daily, 3-day ...

UT Southwestern research team's anti-malarial work wins international Project of the Year award

June 7, 2011
The discovery of a potential new anti-malarial drug by a UT Southwestern Medical Center-led research team has been awarded Project of the Year by Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV).

Provision of subsidized malaria drugs in shops improves uptake

June 1, 2011
Reporting the findings of a cluster randomized trial carried out in rural Kenya, Beth Kangwana and colleagues find that provision of packs of the malaria therapy artemether-lumefantrine in shops at a subsidized price more ...

Malaria on way out in third of nations hit: study

October 17, 2011
Nearly a third of all nations in which malaria is endemic are working to eliminate the disease within a decade, according to a new report released Monday in the United States.

Recommended for you

Pneumonia vaccine under development provides 'most comprehensive coverage' to date, alleviates antimicrobial concerns

October 20, 2017
In 2004, pneumonia killed more than 2 million children worldwide, according to the World Health Organization. By 2015, the number was less than 1 million.

Newly discovered viral marker could help predict flu severity in infected patients

October 20, 2017
Flu viruses contain defective genetic material that may activate the immune system in infected patients, and new research published in PLOS Pathogens suggests that lower levels of these molecules could increase flu severity.

H7N9 influenza is both lethal and transmissible in animal model for flu

October 19, 2017
In 2013, an influenza virus that had never before been detected began circulating among poultry in China. It caused several waves of human infection and in late 2016, the number of people to become sick from the H7N9 virus ...

Flu simulations suggest pandemics more likely in spring, early summer

October 19, 2017
New statistical simulations suggest that Northern Hemisphere flu pandemics are most likely to emerge in late spring or early summer at the tail end of the normal flu season, according to a new study published in PLOS Computational ...

New insights into herpes virus could inform vaccine development

October 18, 2017
A team of scientists has discovered new insights into the mechanisms of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection, as well as two antibodies that block the virus' entry into cells. The findings, published in Proceedings of the National ...

Pair of discoveries illuminate new paths to flu and anthrax treatments

October 17, 2017
Two recent studies led by biologists at the University of California San Diego have set the research groundwork for new avenues to treat influenza and anthrax poisoning.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.