Tokyo, October 30, 2017 - Astellas Pharma Inc. (President and CEO: Yoshihiko Hatanaka, “Astellas” ) today announced that it has entered into a screening collaboration agreement with Medicines for Malaria Venture (“MMV”), a leading product development partnership (PDP) in the field of antimalarial drug research, development and delivery. This collaboration will be funded by the Global Health Innovative Technology Fund1 (“GHIT Fund”) and MMV.
Under this agreement, Astellas will provide its library of tens of thousands of compounds, and MMV will work with Prof. Vicky Avery at Griffiths University in Brisbane to screen the library for compounds that demonstrate the potential to become new antimalarial drugs.
Malaria is a life-threatening disease caused by parasites that are transmitted to people through the bite of an infected female Anopheles mosquito. In 2015, more than 200 million people fell ill with malaria, and more than 420,000 people died of this disease. In 2016, 91 countries were malaria-endemic, with the WHO Africa region accounting for over 90% of all malaria cases and malaria-related deaths. In addition, resistance to the current gold standard antimalarial drug, artemisinin, is threatening the ability to control malaria in the Greater Mekong subregion.
This situation poses a serious problem and innovative next-generation antimalarial drugs are urgently needed.
The GHIT Fund is an international non-profit organization aimed at leveraging Japanese expertise and capability for life-saving health innovations, including drugs, vaccines and diagnostics, to combat HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, and neglected tropical diseases prevalent in the developing world. Astellas has supported the GHIT Fund for five years since its foundation, and has also committed to supporting it for the next five years (FY2018-FY2022) together with a cross-sector group of funding partners.
Astellas will continue to resolve Access to Health issues through commitment to this screening collaboration as well as continuous participation in the GHIT Fund.
(1) GHIT Fund: an international non-profit organization aimed at leveraging Japanese expertise and capability for life-saving health innovations, including drugs, vaccines and diagnostics, to combat HIV/AIDS, TB, malaria, neglected tropical diseases prevalent in the developing world. A public interest corporation registered in Japan, the GHIT Fund is the first international public-private partnership between the Japanese Government: Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare, private sector, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Wellcome Trust and the United Nations Development Program.
(2) World Health Organization(WHO) media centre http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs094/en/
Astellas Pharma Inc., based in Tokyo, Japan, is a company dedicated to improving the health of people around the world through the provision of innovative and reliable pharmaceutical products. We focus on Urology, Oncology, Immunology, Nephrology and Neuroscience as prioritized therapeutic areas while advancing new therapeutic areas and discovery research leveraging new technologies/modalities. We are also creating new value by combining internal capabilities and external expertise in the medical/healthcare business. Astellas is on the forefront of healthcare change to turn innovative science into value for patients. For more information, please visit our website at https://www.astellas.com/en.
MMV is a leading product development partnership (PDP) in the field of antimalarial drug research, development and delivery. Its mission is to reduce the burden of malaria in disease-endemic countries by discovering, developing and delivering new, effective and affordable antimalarial drugs. Since its foundation in 1999, MMV and partners have built the largest portfolio of antimalarial R&D and access projects ever assembled, and brought forward seven new medicines that are estimated to have already saved over a million lives. MMV's success is based on its extensive partnership network of over 400 pharmaceutical, academic and endemic-country partners in more than 55 countries. MMV's vision is a world in which innovative medicines will cure and protect the vulnerable and underserved populations at risk of malaria, and ultimately help to eradicate this terrible disease. For more information, please visit: https://www.mmv.org/
In this press release, statements made with respect to current plans, estimates, strategies and beliefs and other statements that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements about the future performance of Astellas. These statements are based on management’s current assumptions and beliefs in light of the information currently available to it and involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties. A number of factors could cause actual results to differ materially from those discussed in the forward-looking statements. Such factors include, but are not limited to: (i) changes in general economic conditions and in laws and regulations, relating to pharmaceutical markets, (ii) currency exchange rate fluctuations, (iii) delays in new product launches, (iv) the inability of Astellas to market existing and new products effectively, (v) the inability of Astellas to continue to effectively research and develop products accepted by customers in highly competitive markets, and (vi) infringements of Astellas’ intellectual property rights by third parties. Information about pharmaceutical products (including products currently in development) which is included in this press release is not intended to constitute an advertisement or medical advice.
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