E-DRUG: Eisai supplies free DEC tablets to WHO for elephantiasis for 6 yr
[After MSD (ivermectin) and GSK (albendazole) Eisai has now joined the
global fight against lymphatic filariasis (elephantiasis) by making
available to WHO a donation of up to 2.2 billion tablets of 100mg
diethylcarbamazine (DEC) tablets from 2012 until 2017. This could
benefit up to 300m people. A hospital sized pack of 1000 DEC tablets is
globally available at USD 5.36. The value of the donation is thus around
$11.8m at wholesale prices. Any E-druggers involved in this global
lymphatic filariasis project who want to comment? Copied as fair use.
Eisai supplies free tablets to WHO for elephantiasis
World News | November 26, 2010
By Kevin Grogan
Eisai has become the first Japanese pharmaceutical company to link up
with the World Health Organisation on neglected tropical diseases,
signing a deal to supply drugs for lymphatic filariasis.
Eisai has recently agreed to produce and supply to WHO free of charge up
to 2.2 billion 100mg tablets of diethylcarbamazine (known as DEC) over a
six-year period between 2012 and 2017. The treatments will be produced
at the Tokyo-headquartered firm's facility in Visakhapatnam (Vizag),
Andhra Pradesh in south India. The total number of tablets is enough to
treat 300 million people with LF.
Eisai chief executive Haruo Naito worked closely with WHO as president
of International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers &
Associations, a post he held until earlier this month. Doctors at WHO
were looking for the support of a Japanese drugmaker to help eliminate
LF, and approached Eisai, which met with officials of the agency in
August and September.
LF is a parasitic disease that is transmitted to humans by the bite of a
mosquito. Once transmitted, it can lead to serious physical disabilities
such as elephantiasis, and although eradicated in Japan in the late
1970s, it still affects an estimated 120 million people in 81 countries,
notably in Africa and south-east Asia.
Two of the three medicines used to treat LF are currently donated by
GlaxoSmithKline (albendazole) and Merck & Co (ivermectin). However,
there is a global insufficient supply of the third treatment, DEC, and
Margaret Chan, director-general of WHO, said that Eisai's contribution
"will eventually close the gap in drug availability, particularly for
poor countries where most cases of this disease occur".
As well as LF, Eisai is supporting the development of a therapy for the
treatment of Chagas disease through a partnership with the DNDi (Drugs
for Neglected Disease initiative). A compound for this project is
currently in Phase II trials in Latin America.
In addition, the company says it has a promising candidate for the
treatment of malarial encephalitis, which is currently being evaluated
in preclinical studies.