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Novartis to deliver three million malaria treatments in Zambia

Part of Malaria No More’s Power of One campaign
Novartis building

A campaign backed by Novartis is to provide three million malaria treatments for children in Zambia.

The Switzerland-based pharma company is the exclusive treatment sponsor for the Power of One campaign. The campaign was launched last year by the charity Malaria No More, with funding and support from several partners, including Novartis, the Zambian Government, 21st Century Fox and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Every dollar donated to the campaign provides for a full treatment course for a child with malaria in Africa. Funds have been raised via social, mobile, and e-commerce technologies.

The initial focus of the campaign has been Zambia - the first African country to change its treatment guidelines from chloroquine to newer artemisinin-based combination therapies, which include Novartis' combination of artmether and lumefantrine. The artmether provides fast relief from malarial symptoms while lumefantrine has a longer-lasting effect and kills residual parasites.

The campaign has now also expanded to Kenya, where 200,000 treatments have just been delivered.

"After only a year, thanks to the generosity of the global public and Novartis associates, we have been able to meet our goal of raising three million treatments for children in Zambia," said Martin Edlund, CEO, Malaria No More.

“This is a great achievement but we need to continue the fight and help ensure no child dies from malaria due to lack of a one dollar treatment."

Novartis' involvement in the Power of One campaign is part of its Novartis Malaria Initiative, which has pledged to match up to one million treatments funded by the public every year through 2015.

Through the initiative Novartis has delivered 700 million treatments without profit, mostly to the public sector, including 250 million paediatric antimalarials specifically for children.

The company is also involved in developing new antimalarial products, including KAE609 –part of a new class of treatment known as spiroindolones that work by suppressing protein synthesis in malaria parasites. KAE609 is currently in phase II trials.

A second compound, KAF156, belongs to the imidazolopiperazines class of malaria treatment and is also in phase II.

Novartis' CEO Joseph Jimenez said: “We need to continue to step up efforts, not only by increasing access to antimalarials but also by researching next-generation treatments to move closer to our vision of a malaria-free world."

12th November 2014

From: Healthcare

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