Collaborations set to advance life-saving pre-referral treatment for severe malaria
Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV) signs collaboration agreements with two Indian pharmaceutical companies, Cipla and Strides Arcolab for the development of rectal artesunate for pre-referral treatment of children with severe malaria.
The collaborations, established under the MMV-led “Improving Severe Malaria Outcomes” project funded by UNITAID, aim to develop a rectal artesunate product for submission to WHO prequalification. Cipla and Strides will each develop a product building on the clinical studies led by TDR, the Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases led by the World Health Organization (WHO)
The goal is to achieve WHO-prequalification of a rectal artesunate product by 2016.
“This is a significant milestone in our project to improve severe malaria outcomes,” said Dr David Reddy, Chief Executive Officer, MMV’s. “We have agreed a clear pathway with these two manufacturers to bring this product to an internationally acceptable quality standard. This will help make the product available to more patients, buying more time and saving more lives. We look forward to working closely with Cipla and Strides and thank UNITAID for supporting these efforts.”
Subhanu Saxena, Managing Director and Global, Chief Executive Officer, Cipla said, “We are happy to join hands with Medicines for Malaria Venture, that shares our ongoing commitment to fight against Malaria. Cipla is one of the major suppliers of antimalarial products worldwide and we have designed many innovative medicines for children in developing countries. Through this collaboration, we will endeavour to make rectal artesunate accessible to each and every child with severe malaria in a pre-referral setting in malaria-endemic countries.
“We are excited to be part of this initiative, as it will expand access to quality, affordable medicines for a wider population and save more lives,” said Mohan Kumar Chief Executive Officer, Strides Arcolab .
UNITAID invests to increase availability to better and more affordable products to prevent, test and treat HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria in developing countries. It was launched in 2006 by Brazil, Chile, France, Norway and the United Kingdom. UNITAID is hosted by the WHO and is currently supported by 17 contributing members.
EP News Bureau- Mumbai