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Fighting neglected tropical diseases
One billion people worldwide suffer from one or more of the 17 neglected tropical diseases listed by the WHO. These debilitating communicable diseases affect almost exclusively developing countries1.
Sanofi has been actively engaged in the fight against these “neglected” tropical diseases since 2001 alongside the WHO, with a $5 million a year contribution including financial support and medicines donations.
Thanks to this partnership with the WHO, 34 million people have been screened for sleeping sickness and around 200 000 patients have been diagnosed and treated for this disease, which is fatal if left untreated2. Since 2001, the number of identified cases has fallen by 89%. Fewer than 3000 new cases were recorded in 2015, the lowest level since the start of systematic global data collection 75 years ago3.
However, most of the current treatments are given by intravenously parenteral route and require hospitalization. For this reason, Sanofi, in partnership with Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi), a non-profit drug research and development organization is developing a new oral treatment for sleeping sickness. All these initiatives aim to eliminate the disease by 20204.
Each year, 1.3 million new cases of leishmaniasis and 20,000 to 30,000 deaths due to the disease are reported. This parasitic disease transmitted by the bite of a sand fly, causes skin lesions and severe disability5.
In Brazil, Sanofi produces a drug against leishmaniasis which is provided at a preferential price in affected countries. More than 6 million doses have been distributed in 20156. Today it is administered by injection only, but our teams are working to develop a new formulation for skin application.
Within the framework of its partnership with the WHO, Sanofi also contributes to:
- developing epidemiological monitoring and research to find new treatments for Chagas disease, a parasitic infection that affects 6 to 7 million people worldwide7
- improving access to care and facilitating earlier, simplified treatment for Buruli ulcer, a skin and soft tissue infection that is particularly debilitating. In 2014, 2,200 new cases were reported to the WHO. When the disease is treated early, 80% of patients can be cured8
For more information:
- WHO, “Sustaining the drive to overcome the global impact of neglected tropical diseases,” Second WHO report on neglected tropical diseases, 2014.
- WHO data, May 2015
- WHO, Accelerating work to overcome the global impact of neglected tropical diseases, 2012
- WHO, Media Center, Leishmaniasis Fact sheet No. 375, February 2015
- Internal data, May 2015
- WHO, Media Center, Chagas disease, Fact sheet No. 340, March 2015
- WHO, Media Center, Buruli ulcer Fact sheet No. 199, May 2015
February 04, 2017
January 24, 2017
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