The Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi) welcomes today’s announcement by the Medicines Patent Pool of a new collaboration with ViiV Healthcare. This collaboration will facilitate the development of urgently needed, new paediatric ARV formulations through the licensing of patents from various companies.
‘As we move ahead in the development of a 4-in-1 combination of ARVs for infants and toddlers with HIV, this collaboration is encouraging and timely’, said Marc Lallemant, Head of Paediatric HIV Programme, DNDi. ‘We hope that other key stakeholders will follow suit’, he added.
An estimated 3.4 million children under 15 years of age are living with HIV/AIDS. Only 28% of those children in urgent need of treatment are receiving it, compared to 54% of adults. Without treatment, half of all HIV-positive children will die before the age of two, and 80% will die before they turn five.
DNDi hopes that this agreement will bring other relevant patent holders to the table in order to expedite the development of appropriate ARV combinations and formulations for children with HIV/AIDS anywhere in the world.
DNDi is currently working with Cipla Ltd and other partners to develop an improved first-line therapy for infants and toddlers with HIV/AIDS, with support from UNITAID, the French Development Agency (AFD), and Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF).
The Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi) is a not-for-profit research and development organization working to deliver new treatments for neglected diseases, in particular human African trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness), Chagas disease, leishmaniasis, filaria, and paediatric HIV. DNDi was established in 2003 by Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation from Brazil, the Indian Council of Medical Research, the Kenya Medical Research Institute, the Ministry of Health of Malaysia, and the Institut Pasteur of France. The WHO Special Programme for Tropical Disease Research (TDR) serves as a permanent observer. Since 2003, DNDi has delivered six new treatments for malaria, sleeping sickness, visceral leishmaniasis, and Chagas disease.
Violaine Dällenbach, Press & Communications Manager (Geneva)
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Oliver Yun, Communications Manager, DNDi North America (New York)
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