Rolling back malaria
Malaria is one of the most deadly infectious diseases in the world. According to the World Health Organization, in 2012 malaria was responsible for 627,000 deaths worldwide, 90% of which occurred in Africa. Pregnant women and children under five years of age are the primary victims. In Africa, one child dies of malaria every minute (1,2).
Since 2001, Sanofi has pursued a strategy of partnership with all those who are active in the fight against malaria: scientists, health authorities, NGOs, etc.
Sanofi and the Drugs for Neglected initiative foundation (DNDi) have developed an artemisinin-based combination therapy: ASAQ Winthrop® (artesunate, amodiaquine). This non-patented drug is manufactured by Sanofi in its Maphar plant in Morocco.
This antimalarial medication is sold according to a tiered- pricing policy which can reach “no profit – no loss” levels to major international organizations, governments and NGOs. ASAQ Winthrop® is now registered in 33 countries and more than 300 million treatments have been distributed since 2007, mostly in Africa (3).
To collect information about the safety and efficacy of this antimalarial drug, Sanofi has set up a field monitoring program in collaboration with the National Malaria Control Programs of participating countries. The program is carried out in partnership with DNDi, Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV), the WorldWide Antimalarial Resistance Network (WWARN) and many scientists.
Artemisinin, extracted from plants, is one of the key components of current antimalarial drugs. To overcome the variability of crops, to minimize the risk of shortages, to avoid price fluctuations and reduce production time, Sanofi has developed an industrial process for the synthesis of artemisinin, which will complement plant supply. This innovation was carried out with the support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, in partnership with PATH (an NGO specializing in the development of health solutions), the University of California, Berkeley and Amyris.
In terms of Research and Development, one of our priorities is to discover new avenues to combat resistance to existing malaria treatments.
A holistic approach is essential to prevent, diagnose and treat malaria. This is with this objective in mind, that Sanofi has developed, with our partners, information and education tools tailored to the local specificities, which are made available to Public Health authorities and NGOs.
Our “Training the Trainers” program is a cascade training approach designed to train community health workers on the management of malaria. Other initiatives are organized to inform communities and raise awareness about malaria and its prevention.
Children are the most impacted by malaria, and they are also tomorrow’s adults. Therefore, training them is essential. Our "Schoolchildren against Malaria" program provides educational tools for teachers and children in Africa to teach the basics of malaria. This program has already reached more than 7.7 million children.
1. WHO, WHO Global Malaria Program, World Malaria Report 2013.
September 16, 2014
August 28, 2014