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[e-drug] Mundo Sano, DNDi join to Provide Access to Treatments for Chagas Disease Patients

E-DRUG: Mundo Sano, DNDi join to Provide Access to Treatments for Chagas 
Disease Patients

[Spanish and Portuguese versions here] 

Strategic agreement to ensure crucial second source of pediatric formulation of 
benznidazole for millions of children with Chagas disease in need of treatment

On 11 November 2013, the Mundo Sano Foundation and the Drugs for Neglected 
Diseases initiative (DNDi) signed a wide-ranging accord to collaborate closely 
on a vital second source of the drug benznidazole for children affected by 
Chagas disease. From production to patient access, securing affordability and 
accessibility, the agreement unites the two not-for-profit organizations, 
highly involved in advocacy and drug research and development, in their common 
effort to fill treatment gaps for Chagas disease patients worldwide.

Benznidazole, the main drug used to treat Chagas disease today, is one of the 
only two currently available drugs to treat the disease. Mundo Sano, leading an 
Argentinian drug development consortium, partnered notably with ELEA to develop 
ABARAX (100 mg and 50 mg) in 2012. ABARAX is the second source of benznidazole 
after the one developed by Lafepe, a Brazilian public pharmaceutical company. 
DNDi collaborated with Lafepe to develop the only existing child-adapted 
formulation of benznidazole (12.5mg), registered in Brazil in 2011.

Under the agreement, Mundo Sano and DNDi will work together to deliver a second 
source of appropriately child-adapted benznidazole treatment for young 
children. Together, they will work to lower the cost of the basic product 
required to produce benznidazole treatments at an affordable price to Chagas 
patients in need of treatment. The organizations will also carry out any 
studies, clinical or other, needed to ensure regulatory approval and maximize 
use of benznidazole, both for adults and children, in support of current 
efforts to increase the chances of treatment coverage, as still today over 99% 
of people living with Chagas disease are in need of treatment.

'We are very pleased to formalize this agreement because Mundo Sano and DNDi 
are two institutions that work for this matter with seriousness and 
perseverance for many years. This partnership involves sharing efforts and 
combining research strategies for Chagas, maximizing the strengths of each of 
the institutions and creating a transcending reality', said Dr Silvia Gold, 
president of Mundo Sano.

In addition, both organizations will advocate, notably within the Global Chagas 
Disease Coalition, for the policy changes within governments of endemic and 
non-endemic countries necessary to achieve greater 'test and treat' strategies 
to lower the grave public health and economic burden caused by the disease

'Discovered over a century ago, Chagas disease is incredibly still among the 
world's most neglected diseases, with millions waiting to receive treatment and 
care', said Eric Stobbaerts, Director of DNDi Latin America. 'Growing 
scientific evidence shows that benznidazole should be widely used to treat 
Chagas disease with no delay, while we continue to actively search for newer 

About Chagas disease
The leading parasitic killer of the Americas, Chagas disease (American 
trypanosomiasis) infects an estimated 8 million people, mostly in Latin 
America, where it is endemic in 21 countries and kills some 12,000 people each 
year. The most affected people are very poor, live in inadequate housing 
conditions, and often have little access to healthcare. Cases of Chagas disease 
are increasingly recognized in North America, Europe, Japan, and Australia. 
Caused by the parasite Trypanosoma cruzi, Chagas disease starts with an early, 
acute stage lasting about two months, and is followed by a late, chronic stage 
lasting a lifetime, in which up to 30% of patients develop life-threatening 
heart damage and up to 10% may have severe damage to their digestive system. 
The Chagas parasite is primarily transmitted via the bite of the blood-sucking 
triatome bug, sometimes called the 'kissing bug'. Chagas is also transmitted by 
blood transfusion, organ transplantation, oral ingestion, or during pregnancy 
from mother to newborn, in which an estimated 14,000 new cases occur annually. 
Current treatments are still difficult to implement due to the duration of 
treatment and side effects associated with their use. DNDi is working to 
develop a new, safe, effective, and affordable drug specifically to treat 
Chagas disease.

About DNDi
The Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi) is a not-for-profit research 
and development (R&D) organization working to deliver new treatments for the 
most neglected diseases, in particular sleeping sickness (human African 
trypanosomiasis), Chagas disease, leishmaniasis, filaria, and paediatric 
HIV/AIDS. Since its inception in 2003, DNDi has delivered six new treatments: 
two fixed-dose antimalarials (ASAQ and ASMQ); nifurtimox-eflornithine 
combination therapy (NECT) for late-stage sleeping sickness; sodium 
stibogluconate and paromomycin (SSG&PM) combination therapy for visceral 
leishmaniasis in Africa; a set of combination therapies for visceral 
leishmaniasis in Asia; and a paediatric dosage form of benznidazole for Chagas 
disease. DNDi was founded by Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders 
(MSF), Indian Council of Medical Research, Kenya Medical Research Institute, 
Brazil's Oswaldo Cruz Foundation, Ministry of Health of Malaysia, and Institut 
Pasteur in France, with the UNICEF/UNDP/World Bank/WHO Special Programme for 
Research and Training in Tropical Diseases (TDR) as a permanent observer.

About Mundo Sano
Mundo Sano is a civil society organization that since 1993 aims to reduce the 
impact caused by neglected diseases, such as Chagas disease , dengue , 
leishmaniasis and various geoparasitosis, among others. In pursuit of achieving 
greater equity, the institution works alongside the public and private sectors, 
academia and other international organizations. In order to provide solutions 
to the affected communities and generate scientific knowledge, Mundo Sano led a 
public private consortium in 2012 to produce benznidazole in Argentina, one of 
the main drugs to treat Chagas disease.
It is also the only civil society organization of Latin American origin that 
integrates the global alliance Uniting to Combat NTDs - led by the Bill & 
Melinda Gates Foundation, which aims to reduce the impact of a set of neglected 
diseases by 2020.
Media contacts
Betina Moura: bmoura@dndi.org<mailto:bmoura@dndi.org> / Mobile: +55 21 9 8122 
Luciana Acuña Elias: <0} lacuna@mundosano.org<mailto:lacuna@mundosano.org> 
{0>lacuna / Telephone:<0} +54 11 4872 1348 /Mobile: + 54 153- 858-7378

Gabrielle Landry Chappuis
Head of Communication and Advocacy
Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative - DNDi
15 Chemin Louis-Dunant, 1202 Geneva, Switzerland

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