Eisai Co., Ltd. (Headquarters: Tokyo, President & CEO: Haruo Naito, “Eisai”) announced today that it has become a signatory to the Tuberculosis Drug Accelerator (TBDA) partnership, a groundbreaking initiative that aims to speed up the discovery of essential new treatments for tuberculosis (TB).

Jointly launched in June 2012 through a collaborative agreement among seven pharmaceutical companies1and six research institutions2with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the TBDA partnership targets the discovery of new TB drugs by working together on early-stage research. The long-term goal of the partnership is to create a new TB drug combination that has the potential to cure patients in only one month, compared to the six months of treatment required by existing drugs. Based on the partnership, the participating pharmaceutical companies will open up targeted sections of their compound libraries and share data with other participating pharmaceutical companies and research institutions. As a TBDA member, Eisai will provide selected portions of its chemical library for screening against TB as well as share identified and confirmed hits with other TBDA partners. Eisai will also work cooperatively with other partners to facilitate the development of new therapies for TB.

TB is a contagious disease caused by a bacterial infection that affects the lungs and other organs. Although it is a curable and preventable disease, it is the second leading infectious cause of death worldwide, having resulted in the deaths of 1.4 million people in 2011 alone. One of the main reasons for the high mortality is that first-line therapies for TB are antiquated and inadequate, with all existing drugs being at least 50 years old and requiring at least six months to cure the disease. Furthermore, the length of the existing TB treatments means that a considerable number of patients drop out before completion, which in turn can lead to further transmission, emergence of drug resistance, and death. By discovering a new TB drug combination with the potential to cure patients in one month, the TBDA will contribute to shortening the length of treatment as well as decreasing treatment default rates.

Eisai is committed to improving the health and welfare of people in developing and emerging countries and considers its contributions to the economic development and expansion of the middle-income class through these endeavors as a form of long-term investment for future market growth. To achieve this, Eisai remains actively committed to addressing issues in global health to further increase the benefits provided to patients and their families worldwide.

1AbbVie, AstraZeneca, Bayer, Eli Lilly, GlaxoSmithKline, Merck, Sanofi
2Infectious Disease Research Institute, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Rutgers University,
  Texas A&M University, University of Dundee, Weill Cornell Medical College

[ Please refer to the following notes for Eisai's Commitment to
Improving Global Access to Medicines. ]

Media Inquiries:
Public Relations Department,
Eisai Co., Ltd.

[ Notes to editors ]

1. Eisai's Commitment to Improving Global Access to Medicines
Today, it is estimated that some 2.4 billion people around the world live on US$2 or less per day*1. Most of these 2.4 billion people do not have access to essential health care and treatment despite the availability of effective medicines. This is an international challenge that needs to be solved through collaborations among governments, international organizations such as World Health Organization (WHO), nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), and pharmaceutical companies.
  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 (NPOs). As part of these efforts, the company is supplying the medicine diethylcarbamazine (DEC) free of charge to the WHO, for seven years starting from 2013, in support of its program to eliminate lymphatic filariasis, and is also engaged in a research collaboration with Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi), an international nonprofit foundation, to develop the new drug E1224 (a prodrug of ravuconazole) for the treatment of Chagas disease. Furthermore, in an effort to develop new medicines for malaria and neglected tropical diseases such as the leishmaniases, Eisai is also collaborating with the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation, a Brazilian national research agency, as well as the Sabin Vaccine Institute, an international nonprofit organization (NPO).
  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/company/atm/index.html
*1World Bank. Poverty Overview. http://www.worldbank.org/en/topic/poverty/overview