Center for Global Research and Intervention in Infectious Diseases

Sanofi Reiterates Commitment To Fight Against Malaria

November 30, 2011


(RTTNews) - French drug maker Sanofi SA (SNY) on Tuesday confirmed its decades-long commitment to the fight against malaria, noting that the elimination of the disease has now become an achievable goal.

Sanofi, which is organizing the tenth edition of the Pan-African Conference against Malaria with representatives of 34 African countries, noted that Malaria is a major public health issue. The Pan-African Congress is an annual meeting to exchange and share experiences amongst African managers in charge of malaria control, international organizations and scientific experts.

Despite existing treatments, the disease caused 800,000 deaths worldwide in 2009, of which more than 90 percent were in Africa. Malaria is the third leading cause of mortality in African children.

Sanofi has been producing medicines such as Quinimax, Nivaquine and Flavoquine as part of its efforts in the fight against malaria. The company has also been committed to a partnership strategy for the last 10 years to combat malaria and to contribute to attaining several of the United Nations' Millennium Development Goals.

In 2001, Sanofi launched the Impact Malaria program in order to supply medicines to patients at affordable prices and also launched educational and information initiatives to create awareness about prevention, diagnosis and treatment of malaria.

Sanofi noted that under the program, it has developed the medicine ASAQ Winthrop/Coarsucam, in partnership with Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative or DNDi, an independent, not-for-profit product development partnership.

Since 2008, Sanofi has distributed more than 100 million treatments of ASAQ Winthrop, in endemic countries, with a production center in Morocco.

Christopher Viehbacher, Chief Executive Officer of Sanofi, said, "Thanks to these major partnerships combining public and private actors, as well as non-profit organizations, the elimination of malaria, which yesterday seemed utopian, has now become an achievable goal."

In late May, Sanofi announced a three-year agreement with DNDi to research on new treatments for nine neglected tropical diseases listed by the World Health Organization. These diseases are kinetoplastid diseases (leishmaniases, Chagas disease, and human African trypanosomiasis), helminth infections (lymphatic filariasis, onchocerciasis, and soil-transmitted helminthiasis), and dracunculiasis, fascioliasis, and schistosomiasis.

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