November 7, 2012
In support of the World Health Organization's (WHO) Global Programme to Eliminate Lymphatic Filariasis and the London Declaration - a coordinated effort to eliminate neglected tropical diseases - Eisai, Sanofi and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation announced on January 30, 2012 that together they would provide 120 million Sanofi-produced DEC (diethylcarbamazine citrate) tablets to WHO free of charge over a two-year period through 2014 at which point Eisai will commence supply of its own DEC tablets.
In July 2012, the first consignment of roughly 2.5 million DEC tablets was handed over to WHO as the first installment in its two-year commitment. These DEC tablets will be used in Malaysia and Madagascar, and will enable more than 600,000 people to be treated over a two year period.
This is the first partnership in which two pharmaceutical companies, with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, have come together to supply a single drug for an NTD.
Lymphatic filariasis, commonly known as elephantiasis, is a threat to more than 1.3 billion people in 73 countries worldwide. Over 120 million people are currently infected, with about 40 million disfigured and incapacitated by the disease. Lymphatic filariasis can result in an impeded lymphatic system and the abnormal enlargement of body parts, causing pain and severe disability.
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).
About Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Guided by the belief that every life has equal value, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation works to help all people lead healthy, productive lives. In developing countries, it focuses on improving people's health with vaccines and other life-saving tools and giving them the chance to lift themselves out of hunger and extreme poverty. In the United States, it seeks to significantly improve education so that all young people have the opportunity to reach their full potential. Based in Seattle, Washington, the foundation is led by CEO Jeff Raikes and Co-chair William H. Gates Sr., under the direction of Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett.