MONTPELLIER, France--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Malaria remains pandemic in 91 countries representing 50% of the world's population. According to WHO estimates, 228 million people were infected worldwide in 2018, 93% of them in Africa, leading to 405,000 deaths. Children under 5 years are the most vulnerable., accounting for 67% of deaths from malaria.
“Our goal is to neutralize the Anopheles mosquitoes which carry and transmit the malaria parasite, after they have bitten treated populations. In doing so we could break the chain of transmission,” said MedinCell’s Chief Technology Officer Christophe Roberge. “A single injection of three-month active ivermectin will allow us to remove some of the logistical barriers that limit the mass adoption of shorter-acting treatments, mostly oral, which require numerous renewal campaigns.”
Administered at the beginning of the transmission season, the 3-month ivermectin formulation could have a significant epidemiological impact. This is supported by the results of the first in vivo studies conducted in Burkina Faso by IRD, IRSS, CIRDES and MedinCell, presented at the last annual meeting of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (ASTMH) in November 2019 in Washington. MedinCell (Paris:MEDCL) has been collaborating for 10 years already with these three French and Burkinabe research institutes, engaged together for more than 40 years in the fight against malaria. They provide theoretical and practical expertise and the essential infrastructure to support the development of a 3-month active injectable ivermectin.
“Malaria cannot be eliminated without new tools and strategies. The latest WHO World Malaria Report made that very clear,” Unitaid Executive Director a.i. Philippe Duneton said. “Unitaid is investing in innovations with the greatest potential to reduce the global burden of the disease. The emerging technologies we’re seeing in long-acting medicines offer us new ways to strengthen and broaden our toolkit.”
Unitaid aims at expanding access to much-needed drugs and diagnostics. Unitaid has committed to accelerate the impact of long-acting technologies in LMICs by supporting the development of innovative products that could redefine prevention and treatment of infectious diseases (HIV, TB, malaria and hepatitis C). After the University of Liverpool and the University of Washington, MedinCell is the first private company to receive support from Unitaid to help develop and commercialize long-acting medicine. With this grant, Unitaid is investing in finding additional solutions to prevent the spread of malaria and in making them more accessible. According to the agreement, the Unitaid-funded Medicines Patent Pool - in charge of licensing agreements for the exploitation of patents for medicines in low and middle income countries - will receive a non-exclusive license for the long acting product and will work to find appropriate commercialization partners to ensure that the ivermectin product based on MedinCell technology will be accessible where it is needed.
MedinCell is a clinical stage pharmaceutical company that develops a portfolio of long-acting injectable products in various therapeutic areas by combining its proprietary BEPO® technology with active ingredients already known and marketed. Through the controlled and extended release of the active pharmaceutical ingredient, MedinCell makes medical treatments more efficient, particularly thanks to improved compliance, i.e. compliance with medical prescriptions, and to a significant reduction in the quantity of medication required as part of a one-off or chronic treatment. The BEPO® technology makes it possible to control and guarantee the regular delivery of a drug at the optimal therapeutic dose for several days, weeks or months starting from the subcutaneous or local injection of a simple deposit of a few millimeters, fully bioresorbable. Based in Montpellier, MedinCell currently employs more than 130 people representing over 25 different nationalities.