- For Print
- February 27, 2019
Eisai Co., Ltd. (Headquarters: Tokyo, CEO: Haruo Naito, “Eisai”) announced that it has entered an agreement to support the international non-governmental organization Association for Aid and Relief, Japan’s (Headquarters: Tokyo, President: Yukie Osa, “AAR Japan”) program to raise awareness of mycetoma in Sudan.
Mycetoma is an infectious disease often seen in tropical and subtropical regions such as in the African continent, and since there is a lack of basic information on the disease including its transmission pathway and incidence, it is said to be one of the most neglected tropical diseases. Currently, disease countermeasures and research are being carried out in Sudan, which is one of the countries where the disease is most prevalent. While the transmission pathway is not well known, in general it is thought that people become infected with the pathogenic bacteria through pricks to the skin by walking barefoot over the thorns of contaminated plants. The primary symptoms of the disease are large lesions that appear on the hands and feet, and if the disease progresses it becomes difficult to walk and work, which leads to social issues such as poverty and prejudice, as well as economic losses in endemic areas.
AAR Japan conducts awareness raising activities in Sudan that communicate knowledge on the disease and the importance of early treatment among mycetoma patients, their families, community residents as well as institutions and associations that are tackling mycetoma, and promotes early diagnosis and treatment at medical institutions. In addition, in order to treat mycetoma patients in remote areas, AAR Japan dispatches medical teams via the Khartoum University Mycetoma Research Center (MRC) located in Sudan’s capital. Under this agreement, Eisai will support these activities led by AAR Japan in Sudan, and commission AAR Japan to conduct surveys on the actual condition of patients to promote early diagnosis and early treatment of mycetoma patients.
Eisai commenced its efforts to develop a new treatment for mycetoma in 2015. Together with the not-for-profit research and development organization Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi), Eisai has been jointly developing its anti-fungal agent fosravuconazole (E1224) as a novel treatment for mycetoma. The associated clinical study is being conducted at the MRC in Sudan.
Under its hhc philosophy, Eisai seeks to contribute to the health and welfare of people in developing and emerging countries. Once they have recovered their health, they can resume productive activities, which will in turn contribute to economic development and expansion of the middle-income class. Eisai considers this to be a long term investment in creating the markets of the future. By accelerating the development of new medicines for infectious diseases endemic in developing and emerging countries via leveraging partnerships, together with implementing activities to improve access to medicines including raising disease awareness locally and implementing price setting models that take income levels into account, Eisai strives to further contribute to increasing the benefits for patients and their families worldwide.
Public Relations Department,
Eisai Co., Ltd.
[Notes to editors]
1. About Association for Aid and Relief, Japan (AAR Japan)
Founded in Japan as an international NGO for emergency assistance and supporting humanity, AAR Japan has been conducting activities in approximately 60 countries and regions, including disaster affected areas in Japan. In the area of tackling infectious diseases, AAR Japan is helping secure infrastructure for water supply and raising awareness of hygiene to prevent infectious diseases such as diarrhea among residents in Sudan and Pakistan. Having established an office in Khartoum, the capital of Sudan, in 2005, AAR Japan commenced educational activities to protect people from the dangers of landmines and unexploded ordnance in 2006. Using in-house radio programs and awareness education materials, AAR Japan has spread knowledge on avoiding landmines to 163,836 people living in South Kordofan State, Blue Nile State, White Nile State and Kassala State so far. In addition, AAR provides support for prosthetic limbs and living expenses to landmine victims. While conducting a survey on landmine victims, AAR Japan became aware of people who had lost limbs due to mycetoma, and commenced its program to tackle mycetoma in 2013.
For further information of AAR Japan activities, please visit below website:
AAR Japan website: https://www.aarjapan.gr.jp/english/
2. About Eisai's Commitment to Improving Global Access to Medicines
In line with its human health care (hhc) mission, Eisai is committed to improving global access to medicines over the medium-to-long term through partnership strategies that involve working with governments, international organizations, private entities and non-profit organizations. Becoming a signatory to the London Declaration, Eisai agreed to support the World Health Organization's program to eliminate lymphatic filariasis, and has committed to supplying diethylcarbamazine citrate (DEC) until the disease is eliminated in all lymphatic filariasis endemic countries that need DEC. As of January 2019, 1.59 billion tablets have already shipped to 28 countries1 around the world.
Eisai is moving ahead with new drug development projects targeting malaria and neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) such as Chagas disease, mycetoma and lymphatic filariasis, based on partnerships with international non-profit organizations such as the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi) and Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV), as well as research organizations such as Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, University of Kentucky, and the Broad Institute.
Furthermore, Eisai co-established the Global Health Innovative Technology Fund (GHIT Fund), Japan's first public–private partnership to advance development of new health technologies for the developing world, is a signatory to the Tuberculosis Drug Accelerator (TBDA) partnership, and is participating in the Access Accelerated initiative to promote prevention and treatment of non-communicable diseases.
For further information on Eisai's Access to Medicines initiatives, please visit the Access to Medicines page on the Eisai global website: https://www.eisai.com/sustainability/atm/index.html
1 American Samoa, Comoros, Dominican Republic, Egypt, Eritrea, Fiji, French Polynesia, Guyana, Haiti, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Kiribati, Lao PDR, Madagascar, Malaysia, Micronesia (FSM), Myanmar, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Samoa, São Tomé and Príncipe, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Tuvalu, Zambia, Zimbabwe (alphabetical order)