This international nonprofit consortium on schistosomiasis was launched in 2012 as a public-private partnership to develop a pediatric version of praziquantel, a drug used to treat schistosomiasis (also called bilharzia or snail fever). This severe and chronic inflammatory disease, caused by parasitic worms, affects an estimated 243 million people, including around 10-20 million preschool-age children. At its worst, it can kill, and it leaves many children with anemia, restricted growth or diminished learning ability.

With TI Pharma's coordination and under Merck Serono's leadership, the consortium has brought together the expertise of Astellas, Merck Serono and Swiss TPH to create a new formulation for very young children, perform a pre-clinical development program, and attract funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Progress has been rapid: by the end of 2013, several promising pediatric formulation candidates had already been developed. Currently, these candidates are being optimized. Early 2014, two new partners (Farmanguinhos and Simcyp) have joined the effort. The new funding from the Japanese GHIT Fund will help take the formulation candidates into the clinical testing stage.

Partners:

  • Astellas Pharma
  • Farmanguinhos
  • Merck Serono
  • Simcyp
  • Swiss TPH
  • TI Pharma

Funders:

  • Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Global Health Innovative Technology Fund

For more information, please visit Pediatric Praziquantel Consortium

“The experience that TI Pharma has from putting together partnerships to research neglected diseases is really valuable, because it applies across other therapeutic diseases.”

Tim Wells
Chief Scientific Officer
Medicines for Malaria Venture

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