DNDi, the Egyptian drug manufacturer Pharco Pharmaceuticals, and the Ministry of Health Malaysia announced today at the International Liver Congress in Barcelona, Spain, that they signed agreements to test an affordable hepatitis C regimen in Malaysia and Thailand. The treatment, a potentially pan-genotypic combination of ravidasvir and sofosbuvir, will be tested in Malaysia and Thailand with a target price of under $300. Read the press release
DNDi also presented its research & development strategy for hepatitis C: ‘An Alternative Research and Development Strategy to Deliver Affordable Treatments for Hepatitis C Patients: The Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative’s hepatitis C drug development strategy based on patient needs, not profits’. DNDi will focus on the creation of a short-course, affordable, easy-to-use, highly efficacious, safe, and all-oral pan-genotypic regimen that will enable countries to implement a public health approach to the hepatitis C epidemic.
The race to approve blockbuster hepatitis C treatments in the United States, Europe, and other high-income countries has not only led to exorbitant drug prices but has also neglected certain patient populations. Under the current R&D model, research has prioritized genotypes that are predominant in Europe and America.
Hepatitis C patients are neglected because there are severe barriers to accessing treatment: exorbitant prices, intellectual property that restricts generics, research gaps, and a lack of screening. DNDi has created infographics to explain why there are so many neglected hepatitis C patients and the DNDi project.