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Eisai Launches Programs to Help Eliminate Lymphatic Filariasis By 2020
 

Tokyo, Jan 31, 2012 (JCN) - In line with its commitment to support the World Health Organization's lymphatic filariasis elimination program, Eisai Co., Ltd, as one of the 13 major research and development-based pharmaceutical companies, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the U.S. and U.K. governments, the World Bank and governments from neglected tropical disease (NTD)-endemic countries, gave its support on January 30 (local London time) to the London Declaration, a coordinated effort to eliminate 10 NTDs by the end of this decade.

Eisai is committed to taking proactive steps to address issues related to access to medicines, including NTDs, in accordance with established policy as it expands its business in both emerging and developing nations in this era of great globalization. The company considers its contributions to the economic development and expansion of the middle-income class through the enhancement of health and welfare in these countries as a form of long-term investment for future growth.

Eisai is the only Japanese company to join this coordinated program. In support of the London Declaration and the WHO's program to eliminate lymphatic filariasis, Eisai has signed an agreement with the WHO to extend its support until 2020, during which Eisai will supply free of charge 2.2 billion tablets of the medicine DEC (diethylcarbamazine) until 2020, in line with the WHO elimination goals.

Eisai will start manufacturing DEC in accordance with the high quality standards of WHO at its plant in Vizag, India, and provide it to people in need as a price "zero" Eisai product, while working on the collection and provision of relevant safety information to ensure the appropriate use of the medicine. Eisai will begin supplying DEC from 2013, and plans to deliver this medicine to some 250 million people in the developing world by 2020.

Eisai has also committed to provide 120 million DEC tablets to the WHO free of charge in collaboration with Sanofi and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to ensure a stable of supply of DEC until 2013 when the Eisai-produced DEC becomes available. This is the first partnership in which two pharmaceutical companies, with the Gates Foundation, have come together to supply a single drug for an NTD.

By Chris Lui Staff Writer

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