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Delivery of child-friendly antimalarial hits the 100 million mark

April 3, 2012

Children are the most vulnerable to malaria. Every 60 seconds, a child dies from malaria in Africa. Yet, until recently there was no child-friendly treatment for these vulnerable patients.

In an effort to respond to the unmet medical needs of children, Novartis and Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV) signed an agreement in 2003 to develop the first pediatric artemisinin-combination therapy (ACT). The child-friendly formulation was launched in 2009 and is currently approved in 39 countries.

One hundred million treatments of the Novartis antimalarial developed especially for children with P. falciparum malaria have been delivered by Novartis to 39 malaria-endemic countries since 2009.

The treatment is the first World Health Organization-prequalified child-friendly ACT. Young children in Africa are disproportionately affected by malaria, with 86% of malaria deaths occurring in children under the age of five years.

"This is a landmark achievement for both Novartis and MMV," said MMV’s CEO, David Reddy. "Never before have 100 million pediatric 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."

"Reaching the 100 million milestone in less than three 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."

By reaching this milestone the Novartis Malaria Initiative and MMV have proven that drug development partnerships can truly advance the fight against malaria.