2 March 2001
GLAXOSMITHKLINE AND WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATIONSIGN AGREEMENT TO DEVELOP A NEW TREATMENT FOR MALARIA
GlaxoSmithKline and the World Health Organization (WHO) today announce that they have signed an agreement for the development of a new treatment for malaria called LAPDAP.
LAPDAP, a product that combines two existing anti-malarial compounds chlorproguanil and dapsone, is a potential life-saving medicine. The aim of the agreement is to develop LAPDAP as an effective oral treatment for uncomplicated malaria, primarily for use in Sub-Saharan Africa, but also in other regions of the world where this may be appropriate. To date, clinical trials in Sub-Saharan Africa have demonstrated that LAPDAP is effective in the treatment of uncomplicated malaria including malaria resistant to other standard first line therapies such as chloroquine and sulphadoxine/pyrimethamine (SP).
LAPDAP will be made available at a preferential price for public health programmes. The medicine is already entering its final phase of development and could be available in some African countries as early as next year.
Both partners have contributed towards the costs of product development and have set up a joint team to oversee the development of the product. Other important supporters of this initiative include the UK Department for International Development (DfID) and the University of Liverpool, UK.
"GlaxoSmithKline firmly believes that the complex issues associated with meeting the healthcare needs of developing countries will only be resolved through collaborative effort," said Jean-Pierre Garnier, Chief Executive Officer, GlaxoSmithKline.
"The LAPDAP programme further demonstrates this new company's determination to play its part in improving healthcare world-wide and in finding innovative and practical ways of providing much needed new medicines to people in developing countries."
Dr Gro Harlem Brundtland, Director General of the World Health Organization said: "Drug resistance means that large populations in many parts of the world are without protection from malaria. LAPDAP will be an important help in reducing the burden of malaria among those living in Sub-Saharan Africa and elsewhere. This agreement shows that public-private partnerships can achieve important practical results. It is an important collaboration not only because it will bring a new drug to the market, but also because it includes a price structure that aims at making the drug affordable for those who need it."
WHO, by means of its UNDP/World Bank/WHO Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases (TDR), is arranging and providing considerable financial support for clinical trials of LAPDAP. In addition, WHO is making available its technical expertise, especially in the area of malaria clinical trials, to the development team. TDRs expertise and the knowledge and experience of the WHO-led "Roll Back Malaria" partnership will also be available as the programme proceeds beyond regulatory approval.
GlaxoSmithKline will be responsible for product registrations and manufacture of LAPDAP. The company will also commercialise the product in the private sector according to standard local market practice.
The UK Department for International Development (DfID) provided funding to advance the project while the University of Liverpool, UK, devised the concept of LAPDAP in the early 1990s, and have continued to be major contributors to the programme. The Product Development Team is chaired by Professor Peter Winstanley of The University of Liverpool.
The partnership intends to extend their collaboration to develop LAPDAP in combination with an artemisinin derivative, in order to extend further the useful life of the new medication.
Malaria is a serious, sometimes fatal, disease. At least 300 million clinical cases occur world-wide every year, 90 percent of which are in Africa. Every day close to 3000 people, mostly children under five, die as a result of this disease.
For further information, journalists can contact Mr Gregory Hartl, WHO Spokesperson, WHO, Geneva. Telephone (+41 22) 791 4458. Fax (+41 22) 791 4858. Email:firstname.lastname@example.org. All WHO Press Releases, Fact Sheets and Features as well as other information on this subject can be obtained on Internet on the WHO home page http://www.who.int/