10 Years of Progress toward Elimination of Lymphatic Filariasis

Eisai’s Initiatives for the Elimination of Lymphatic Filariasis

Eisai has been working on the elimination of lymphatic filariasis (LF). Diethylcarbamazine (DEC tablets), one of the LF treatments, was in short supply globally, and this posed a serious obstacle to the elimination of LF. In order to eliminate LF, Eisai has been manufacturing and supplying high-quality DEC tablets via the World Health Organization (WHO). Eisai has also been working on many activities for LF elimination.

Eisai’s LF Elimination Initiatives

2010

The First Partnership on Neglected Tropical Diseases between WHO and a Japanese Corporation

Eisai signed a joint statement with the WHO in which it committed to supplying LF medicine DEC to the WHO free of charge. It was the first partnership formed by a Japanese company with the WHO to provide a medicine for a neglected tropical disease (NTD) free of charge. In the joint statement, Eisai also agreed to develop and manufacture a high-quality DEC tablet formulation and provide a total of 2.2 billion DEC tablets to the WHO free of charge by 2020.

Signing ceremony:
Dr. Margaret Chan, Director-General, WHO and Dr. Haruo Naito, CEO of Eisai

2012

Eisai Became a Signatory of the London Declaration, the Largest International Public-Private Sector Partnership to Date

Eisai, together with twelve other global pharmaceutical companies, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, WHO, the U.S. and U.K. governments, the World Bank, and governments from NTD-endemic countries, pledged its support to the London Declaration, a coordinated effort to eliminate NTDs and the largest public-private partnership of its kind.

Announcement of the London Declaration
(Dr. Margaret Chan, on the far left, Mr. Bill Gates, Co-chair, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, in the center, and Dr. Haruo Naito, CEO of Eisai, on the far right)

Neglected Tropical Diseases:
From Promises to Progress Tackling Lymphatic filariasis in Madagascar and Beyond
(video presentation)

2013

Eisai-Produced DEC tablets Became the First NTD Drug Worldwide to Receive the WHO’s Prequalification

Eisai-produced DEC tablets were officially recognized as meeting the WHO’s stringent standards by receiving WHO prequalification. This was the first case in the world where a drug for the treatment of an NTD was prequalified by the WHO.

Eisai Started to Produce DEC tablets at Vizag Plant in India and Commenced Free Supply to the WHO

Eisai began providing DEC tablets produced at its Vizag Plant in India to the WHO free of charge. The initial shipments of DEC tablets were sent to four countries—Papua New Guinea, Kiribati, Tuvalu, and Fiji.

Vizag Plant, India
Eisai’s DEC (Diethylcarbamazine)

Eisai's Challenge of Greater Access to Medicines: Tackling Lymphatic filariasis
(video)

2015

Eisai Participated in New Partnership to Provide Diagnostic Kits for LF

Eisai has participated in a new public-private partnership with the WHO, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and two other pharmaceutical companies to provide diagnostic kits free of charge, for use in evaluating the success of mass drug administration (MDA) in LF elimination.

Filariasis Test Strip

2017

5th Anniversary of the London Declaration
Donor Companies Including Eisai Set a Guinness World Record for “Most Medication Donated in 24 Hours”

In the 5th anniversary event of the London Declaration held in Geneva, Switzerland, Eisai announced to continue to provide lymphatic filariasis treatment DEC beyond 2020 via WHO for free to endemic countries that need DEC until lymphatic filariasis is eliminated in those countries.

On January 30, the anniversary day of the London Declaration, 10 donor companies including Eisai set a Guinness world record for “Most medication donated in 24 hours” – a total of 270 million tablets.

2020

Eisai Created a Short Animation about Its LF Elimination Activities in the Last 10 Years

Eisai created a short animation about its LF elimination activities in the last 10 years.

Current Distribution Status of DEC Tablets for Endemic Countries

2.02 billion tablets for 28 countries

as of May 2021

Cumulative quantity of DEC tablets supplied and the number of patients whose well-being has been contributed to. At the end of 2013, they were 0.1 million tablets and 0.1 million people, respectively. By the end of 2019, they were 19.9 million tablets and 8.0 million people. *The number of patients helped is an estimated value, which is converted from the cumulative quantity of tablets supplied based on the assumption that an average of 2.5 tablets is taken per capita in accordance with the WHO's definitions.

Countries where DEC tablets are supplied and countries where LF is eliminated

●  Countries where distribution has commenced

Countries where LF is eliminated

LF elimination was achieved in Egypt, Kiribati, Thailand and Sri Lanka out of 28 countries, where Eisai has provided DEC tablets.