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Fighting neglected tropical diseases
One billion people suffer from debilitating communicable diseases, affecting almost exclusively developing countries. (1)
Sanofi has been committed to the fight against these “neglected” tropical diseases since 2001 alongside WHO, with a $75 million contribution including financial support and medicines donations.
Thanks to this partnership with the WHO, over 175,000 patients with sleeping sickness have received treatment; 27 million people have been screened (2). However, one of the main treatments requiring several intravenous infusions, Sanofi, in partnership with the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi), is developing a new oral treatment for sleeping sickness. All these initiatives aim to eliminate the disease by 2020 (3).
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 disability (4).
In Brazil, Sanofi produces a drug used as first-line treatment for leishmaniasis. This drug is provided at a preferential price in developing countries. More than 5 million doses have been distributed in 2013 (5). Today it is administered by injection only, but our teams are working to develop a new formulation for skin application.
Over 120 million people are currently infected by lymphatic filariasis (or elephantiasis), with about 40 million people disfigured and incapacitated by the disease (6).
Sanofi, in partenerhsip with the Japanese firm Eisai and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, donated 120 million tablets of diethylcarbamazine citrate (DEC) in 2012 and 2013, which will enable the WHO to provide mass drug administration for 30 million people.
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 7 to 8 million people worldwide (7).
- Improving access to care and facilitating earlier, simplified treatment for Buruli ulcer, askin and soft tissue infection that is particularly debilitating. Between 5,000 and 6,000 cases are reported annually. When the disease is treated early, 80% of patients can be cured (8).
For more information:
- WHO, “Working to overcome the global impact of neglected tropical diseases,” First WHO report on neglected tropical diseases, 2011.
- WHO data, April 2014
- WHO, Accelerating work to overcome the global impact of neglected tropical diseases, 2012
- WHO, Media Center, Leishmaniasis Fact sheet No. 375, January 2014
- Internal data, April 2014
- WHO, Media Center, Lymphatic filariasis Fact sheet No. 102, March 2014
- WHO, Media Center, Chagas disease Fact sheet No. 340, March 2014
- WHO, Media Center, Buruli ulcer Fact sheet No. 199, July 2013
February 18, 2015
February 13, 2015