Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV) has established a new collaboration with S Kant HEALTHCARE Ltd an Indian-based pharmaceutical company, for the development of a dispersible, taste-masked formulation of sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine and amodiaquine (SP+AQ) for seasonal malaria chemoprevention (SMC) in the Sahel Region in Africa.
The collaboration has been entered into with the aim of achieving the World Health Organization (WHO)-prequalification of SP+AQ in 2017, and was established under the UNITAID-funded project ACCESS-SMC. The project is led by Malaria Consortium in partnership with Catholic Relief Services and other partners, including MMV, and is supporting National Malaria Control Programmes to scale-up access to SMC across seven countries in the Sahel. By demonstrating the feasibility and impact of SMC at scale, ACCESS-SMC will promote the intervention’s wider adoption.
‘This new collaboration is an example of MMV’s commitment to develop high-quality medicines adapted to the needs of the most vulnerable patient populations,’ said Dr. David Reddy, MMV’s CEO. ‘A child-friendly formulation of SP+AQ will help improve compliance to treatment and in turn enhance the impact of this important protective medicine.’
SMC is defined as the intermittent administration of full treatment courses of an antimalarial medicine to children (3–59 months of age) during the malaria season in areas of highly seasonal transmission. The objective is to prevent malarial illness by maintaining therapeutic antimalarial drug concentrations in the blood throughout the period of greatest malarial risk. WHO recommends SMC with sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine and amodiaquine in areas with highly seasonal malaria transmission in the Sahel sub-region of sub-Saharan Africa, where P. falciparum is sensitive to both antimalarial medicines.
Mr. Bharat Shah, MD of S Kant HEALTHCARE Ltd said: ‘We are happy to collaborate with MMV on this important project. Prevention is better than cure, and when it comes to high child mortality due to malaria, interventions to reduce disease are critical. Our goal remains to fight malaria in every possible region globally. Developing a child-friendly, palatable and cost-efficient formulation of SP+AQ for use in the sub-Saharan African/Sahel region shall help to advance the cause of defeating malaria.’