R&D Partnerships Exemplify IFPMA Assembly Theme “A Shared Commitment to Global Health”
The International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers & Associations (IFPMA) has just published the 2010 edition of its Status Report on Pharmaceutical Industry R&D for Diseases of the Developing World(1). The report highlights the increasing efforts of IFPMA member companies(2), working with partners or alone, to develop medicines and vaccines for the 10 diseases of the developing world (DDW)(3) prioritized by the TDR tropical disease research and training organization(4).
The number of DDW medicine and vaccine projects undertaken by IFPMA companies has increased from 84 in 2009 to a total of 102 this year(5). The number of tuberculosis projects grew from 25 to 31 and malaria projects from 34 to 41, while projects for the remaining eight tropical diseases increased from 25 to 30.
Mr. Haruo Naito, President of the IFPMA and President & CEO of Eisai Co., Ltd., speaking at the IFPMA Assembly in Washington DC, said: “This latest Developing World Disease R&D Status Report shows that our industry is serious about helping to address human diseases, including those which otherwise risk being neglected because they affect poor countries. In October, the Director General of the World Health Organization called on companies to help improve access to medicines for neglected tropical diseases – and IFPMA companies responded with significant new or expanded donation programs. Today, we see that our companies are also equally committed to help develop new medicines and vaccines for these diseases.”
Mr. Naito continued, “The latest report also shows that industry is not alone in its R&D efforts, for nearly four out of five DDW research projects are undertaken in cooperation with non-industry partners. This joint effort exemplifies the theme of today’s IFPMA Assembly: ‘A shared commitment to global health’.”
As an example of how the industry is developing new approaches to DDW research, 2010 has seen the opening of the MSD Wellcome Trust Hilleman Laboratories in New Delhi, India. This is the fifth industry R&D center dedicated to developing world diseases and the second such center focusing on vaccine work. It is also the second industry DDW R&D center to be set up in a developing country. The other notable development in 2010 has been how a number of companies have expanded the range of DDWs that they are working on.
Washington DC, 10 November 2010
1 The IFPMA Status Report: Pharmaceutical Industry R&D for Diseases of the Developing World – 2010. This can be accessed via (IFPMA website)
2 Companies which are direct members of the IFPMA or members of an IFPMA member association.
3 The 10 diseases are, in order of decreasing mortality: tuberculosis, malaria, human African trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness), leishmaniasis, dengue, onchocerciasis (River blindness), American trypanosomiasis (Chagas disease), schistosomiasis, leprosy and lymphatic filariasis.
4 The Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases (TDR), co-sponsored by UNICEF, UNDP, World Bank and the WHO.
5 24 new projects were added in 2010 and 8 existing ones were terminated, giving a net increase of 18.