Novartis renews drug donation of Egaten® (triclabendazole) until 2022

NovartisNovartis reaffirms its commitment to the fight against liver fluke (fascioliasis), signing a renewed memorandum of understanding with the World Health Organization (WHO) to extend its drug donation for Egaten® (triclabendazole) until 2022. Egaten is currently the only treatment for fascioliasis recommended by the WHO and is on the WHO Model List of Essential Medicines.

This new four-year commitment (January 2019 to December 2022) includes the donation of 600,000 tablets of Egaten annually, expected to reach 300,000 patients per year. Since the start of the donation program in 2005, Novartis has donated approximately 4 million tablets of Egaten, valued at USD 41 million, helping to treat around 2 million people with fascioliasis in more than 30 countries worldwide.

Fascioliasis, commonly known as liver fluke infestation, is a neglected tropical disease that currently affects an estimated 2.4 million people worldwide[1], with an additional 180 million at risk of infection[2]. It is caused by two species of parasitic flatworms or trematodes that mainly affect the liver (Fasciola hepatica or Fasciola gigantica). Both species can infect humans following ingestion of larvae in contaminated water or food (mainly raw or undercooked vegetation). The larvae mature into adult worms in the biliary tract.

No continent is free from fascioliasis; human cases have been reported from more than 70 countries worldwide[1]. It is likely that where animal cases are reported, human cases also exist. Recognized areas of high transmission are the highlands of South America, the Nile valley, the Caspian sea basin, as well as east Asia and south-east Asia[3].

"This donation will help increase access to treatment in many countries, particularly in communities where cases are clustered and among children of school age who have both the highest prevalence and intensity of infection," said Antonio Montresor, M.D., Medical Officer, WHO Department of Control of Neglected Tropical Diseases.

Left untreated, fascioliasis can result in considerable pain and discomfort, leading to poor quality of life and loss of productivity. The acute phase of the disease is manifested with fever, abdominal pain, nausea, diarrhea and eosinophilia. The disease later progresses to a latent phase with less symptoms and ultimately into a chronic or obstructive phase. In children, fascioliasis can be a serious infection with high fever, enlarged tender liver, and anemia; in some cases deaths have been reported.

Egaten is a single-dose treatment for fascioliasis caused by Fasciola hepatica or Fasciola gigantica in patients 6 years of age or older. Novartis originally developed triclabendazole to treat fascioliasis in domestic livestock, and subsequently developed it for human use in partnership with the WHO.

"Novartis looks forward to its continued partnership with the WHO to reduce the burden of fascioliasis around the world through access to effective treatment," said Patrice Matchaba, M.D., Group Head of Global Health and Corporate Responsibility. "The extension of our donation through 2022 is a testament to our company's long-term commitment to reimagine the fight against neglected tropical diseases."

Novartis has a long-standing commitment to the research and development of medicines for neglected tropical diseases. The Novartis Institute for Tropical Diseases is dedicated to finding new medicines to treat neglected diseases. Research currently focuses on parasitic diseases such as malaria, cryptosporidiosis (diarrheal disease) and three major kinetoplastid diseases: human African trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness), Chagas disease and leishmaniasis.

About Novartis

Novartis provides innovative healthcare solutions that address the evolving needs of patients and societies. Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, Novartis offers a diversified portfolio to best meet these needs: innovative medicines, cost-saving generic and biosimilar pharmaceuticals and eye care. Novartis has leading positions globally in each of these areas. In 2017, the Group achieved net sales of USD 49.1 billion, while R&D throughout the Group amounted to approximately USD 9.0 billion. Novartis Group companies employ approximately 125,000 full-time-equivalent associates. Novartis products are sold in approximately 155 countries around the world.

1. http://www.who.int/foodborne_trematode_infections/fascioliasis/en/
2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4568335/
3. http://www.who.int/foodborne_trematode_infections/fascioliasis/fascioliasis_epidemiology/en/

Most Popular Now

Chemists characterize the fatal fungus among us

Life-threatening fungal infections affect more than two million people worldwide. Effective antifungal medications are very limited. Until now, one of the major challenge...

FDA approves first cancer drug through new oncolog…

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today approved Kisqali (ribociclib) in combination with an aromatase inhibitor for the treatment of pre/perimenopausal or postmenopa...

Discovery of kidney cancer driver could lead to ne…

University of North Carolina Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center scientists have uncovered a potential therapeutic target for kidney cancers that have a common genetic...

The immune system: T cells are built for speed

Without T cells, we could not survive. They are a key component of our immune system and have highly sensitive receptors on their surface that can detect pathogens. The e...

Pfizer initiates pivotal Phase 3 program for inves…

Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE) and Spark Therapeutics (NASDAQ:ONCE) announced today that Pfizer initiated a Phase 3 open-label, multi-center, lead-in study (NCT03587116) to evalu...

FDA approves first targeted treatment for patients…

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today approved Tibsovo (ivosidenib) tablets for the treatment of adult patients with relapsed or refractory acute myeloid leukemia (...

Sanofi and REVOLUTION Medicines launch global part…

Sanofi and REVOLUTION Medicines, Inc. today announced an exclusive worldwide partnership to develop and commercialize targeted therapies, based on the biology of the cell...

Novartis renews drug donation of Egaten® (triclabe…

Novartis reaffirms its commitment to the fight against liver fluke (fascioliasis), signing a renewed memorandum of understanding with the World Health Organization (WHO) ...

Women and older people under-represented in drug t…

Trying to determine how best to treat a patient, doctors often look to randomized clinical trials to guide their choice of what drug to prescribe. One of the most common ...

New findings suggest allergic responses may protec…

The components of the immune system that trigger allergic reactions may also help protect the skin against cancer, suggest new findings. The research, led by Imperial Col...

FDA grants Breakthrough Therapy Designation for Ro…

Roche (SIX: RO, ROG; OTCQX: RHHBY) announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted Breakthrough Therapy Designation for Tecentriq® (atezolizumab) i...

Novartis marks a new era for migraine patients wit…

Novartis announced today that the European Commission (EC) approved Aimovig® (erenumab) for the prevention of migraine in adults experiencing four or more migraine days p...