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Sanofi is edging close to the fruition of a 20-year effort to develop the first effective vaccine against dengue fever, which hospitalises half a million people a year. Data from the first phase III trial of the vaccine have now been published in The Lancet and indicate that a three-dose course of the vaccine given to children aged two to 14 had an overall efficacy of 57 per cent against symptomatic dengue.

Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, proposed the creation of a global alliance to help the World Health Organization (WHO) achieve its goal of eliminating schistosomiasis worldwide today in Geneva.

Earlier this week, CSIS hosted a discussion with a panel of experts on the critical role of IP as a missing link in the development conversation, and how the United States should combine its development, diplomacy, and trade policies to promote positive changes in the IP regimes of middle income and developing countries.

The innovative biopharmaceutical industry believes that a structured, collaborative effort to achieve universal health coverage can meet the shared goals of global health stakeholders of expanding patient access to quality medicines through innovative solutions and long-term sustainability of the health sector.

Novartis announced on Monday that it will partner with Malaria No More and the Power of One campaign to provide two million pediatric antimalarial treatments in Zambia.

“Although the incidence of malaria has decreased, the disease still kills a child every minute in Africa,” Novartis CEO Joseph Jimenez said. “Our commitment to Power of One reflects our company’s long-term efforts to fight malaria and Novartis remains dedicated to controlling and ultimately eliminating this deadly disease.”

On April 2, the Uniting to Combat Neglected Tropical Diseases: A Conversation on Progress webcast and live Q&A will be broadcast from Institut Pasteur in Paris from 18:00 - 19:30 Central European Summer Time/12:00 - 13:30 Eastern Daylight Time. Panelists will address progress and challenges in the effort to control and eliminate 10 NTDs by 2020, with an overarching theme of how the unique alliance of pharmaceutical companies, development agencies, endemic countries, research organizations and private foundations has driven progress forward since the launch of the London Declaration on Neglected Tropical Diseases in 2012.

WHO South-East Asia Region, home to a quarter of the world’s population, was certified polio-free today by an independent commission under the WHO certification process. This is the fourth of six WHO Regions to be certified, marking an important step towards global polio eradication. With this step, 80% of the world’s population now lives in certified polio-free regions.

The research-based pharmaceutical industry is actively involved in the fight against diseases affecting vulnerable populations. With 162 compounds in development, R&D programs and pipelines show industry’s commitment to these pressing health challenges. Most of these R&D projects are carried out through innovative collaborations with non-industry partners.

Eliminating or controlling neglected diseases is achievable. Success relies on multi-stakeholder approaches, which not only drive further R&D but also integrate environmental improvements, boosting capacity-building efforts, effective health policies, better screening, and availability of high quality, safe and effective medicines.

New pharmaceutical and other treatments combined with the world-wide development of universally accessible health care systems could effectively eliminate infectious and noncommunicable disease-related deaths in people aged under 70 by the middle of this century, according to a new report from the London School of Economics and Political Science and the UCL School of Pharmacy, published today. Patients’ Needs, Medicines Innovation and the Global Public’s Interests shows that global life expectancy at birth increased by 30 years over the course of the last century, from 40 years to 70 years. Half of this progress has been due to health care technologies such as innovative vaccines and medicines.

The world’s health needs are changing dramatically. Demographic trends, shifting patterns of disease, and strained public funding are placing new burdens on health-care systems. For developed and developing countries alike, the new demands cannot be met if health care continues to operate in the same way. What is required are new business models that spread risks, take a broader view of health, and address the needs of the world’s poorest people.

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