During his opening ceremony speech, Christopher A. Viehbacher, Chief Executive Officer of Sanofi declared: "Understanding that drugs are not enough to win the fight against malaria, Sanofi has undertaken a decade-long strategy of partnership with African National Malaria Control Programs, to propose solutions beyond existing treatments including prevention and diagnosis to meet the challenges of the emergence of treatment-resistance strains. Thanks to these major partnerships combining public and private actors, as well as non-profit organizations, the elimination of malaria, which yesterday seemed utopian, has now become an achievable goal."
Malaria is a major public health issue which, despite existing treatments, caused 800,000 deaths worldwide in 2009, of which more than 90% were in Africa. Malaria is the third leading cause of mortality in African children, and remains a hurdle for development in the countries where the disease is endemic, quite particularly in the Sub-Saharan region.
While Sanofi has been a major actor in the fight against malaria for over 80 years, via the production of medicines such as Quinimax®, chloroquine (Nivaquine®), and amodiaquine (Flavoquine®), the Group has been committed to a partnership strategy for the last 10 years to combat malaria and to contribute to attaining several of the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals. In 2001, Sanofi launched the Impact Malaria program in order to supply medicines adapted to patient needs at affordable prices and support the stakeholders in the field by educational and information initiatives about prevention, diagnosis and treatment of malaria.
Among the most striking achievements of this program is the development of the medicine ASAQ Winthrop® / Coarsucam® (a fixed-dose combination of artesunate and amodiaquine) developed in partnership with DNDi (Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative), the first anti-malarial medicine developed by a public-private partnership, which constitutes a true innovation. The fixed-dose combination reduces the risk of drug-resistance development. The number of tablets is also reduced, with just one tablet per day for three days, for children and 2 tablets per day for three days, for adults, instead of 4-8 tablets per day for alternative treatments. Lastly, the price is less than $1 per treatment for adults and $0.50 for children.
Since 2008, Sanofi has distributed more than 100 million treatments of ASAQ Winthrop®, in endemic countries, with a production center in Morocco. Sanofi has also developed training tools and communication materials adapted to the various stakeholders in the fight against this disease and made them available to our partners in the field. Additionally, to meet the challenges of emerging drugresistance in malaria, Sanofi's Therapeutic Strategic Unit for Infectious Diseases has launched several research programs in partnership with institutions and university research programs.
This strategy developed for malaria, which combines prevention, diagnosis and treatment serves as a pilot for other programs in infectious diseases, but also in non-infectious diseases, such as mental health and epilepsy.
About the Pan-African Conference Against Malaria
The Pan-African Conference Against Malaria, was organized for the first time in 2002 on the initiative of Sanofi, and is an annual meeting to exchange and share experiences amongst African managers in charge of malaria control, international organizations and scientific experts.
About the Impact Malaria program
The Impact Malaria program was launched in 2001. It is the first programme of the Access to Medicines division and mobilizes the Group's expertise in several fields:
- training and information programmes adapted to all the stakeholders involved in the fight against malaria
- medicines adapted to the patients' needs
- a tiered-pricing policy for our medicines
- a Research and Development (R&D) strategy implemented in collaboration with universities
- quality medicines as a result of our industrial expertise
Between 2008 and 2010, more than 200,000 African children were educated about malaria prevention through the "Schoolchildren against malaria" initiative. In conjunction with DNDi, Sanofi developed ASAQ Winthrop®, the first anti-malarial drug resulting from a public-private partnership.
Sanofi, a global and diversified healthcare leader, discovers, develops and distributes therapeutic solutions focused on patients' needs. Sanofi has core strengths in the field of healthcare with seven growth platforms: diabetes solutions, human vaccines, innovative drugs, rare diseases, consumer healthcare, emerging markets and animal health. Sanofi is listed in Paris (EURONEXT: SAN) and in New York (NYSE: SNY).