The Sabin Vaccine Institute Product Development Partnership (Sabin PDP) today announced a new collaboration with pharmaceutical company Eisai Co., Ltd. to advance vaccine development efforts for neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). Eisai’s adjuvant material donation will enable the Sabin PDP to expand ongoing research and development for its leishmaniasis and Chagas disease vaccine candidates.

This new partnership represents an important first step in what will be an ongoing effort to find solutions to some of the world’s most pervasive diseases of poverty.

“One in six people around the world are infected by NTDs. Yet no vaccines are currently available to help manage or control the spread of these diseases, in large part because they affect the poorest of the poor,” said Dr. Peter Hotez, president of the Sabin Vaccine Institute and director of the Sabin Vaccine Institute and Texas Children’s Hospital Center for Vaccine Development. “The Sabin PDP brings together organizations to share products and ideas to quickly and affordably develop vaccines to fill this unacceptable market gap. Eisai will be an important new partner in this pursuit.”

Eisai is among 13 pharmaceutical companies and other global partners, including the World Health Organization, the World Bank, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and several national governments, to commit resources to controlling or eliminating 10 NTDs by 2020. The historic announcement, known as the London Declaration, marked the first time that the global health community joined together in a renewed effort to fight NTDs by offering in-kind support, expertise and funding. As part of their commitment, Eisai is providing their E6020 adjuvant material free of charge.

"As a global company in human health care, we see this partnership and co-development of NTD vaccines as a long-term investment to improve the health outcomes for developing countries,” said Dr. BT Slingsby, Director of Global Access Strategy at Eisai Co., Ltd. “The elimination of NTDs will help millions to attain health and the potential to maintain an active working life in their community and country. On a larger scale, this means that a healthier population is a key factor to the acceleration of developing economies and the overall growth of our global economy."

Chagas disease, also known as American Trypanosomiasis, is a parasitic infection transmitted primarily through insect bites, but also from mother to child, through blood transmission or organ transplantation. Approximately 10 million people are infected by the Chagas parasite and 25 million are at risk, mainly in Latin America. The disease ultimately causes heart damage in up to 30 percent of those affected, as well as digestive lesions inhibiting function of the colon or esophagus in up to 10 percent of those affected.

Leishmaniasis is a parasitic infection spread by sandflies. Its most lethal form, visceral leishmaniasis (kala-azar), attacks the internal organs. If left untreated, it is usually fatal within two years. Each year, there are an estimated 500,000 new cases of visceral leishmaniasis and 50,000 deaths.

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About Sabin Vaccine Institute
Sabin Vaccine Institute is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization of scientists, researchers, and advocates dedicated to reducing needless human suffering caused by vaccine preventable and neglected tropical diseases. Sabin works with governments, leading public and private organizations, and academic institutions to provide solutions for some of the world's most pervasive health challenges. Since its founding in 1993 in honor of the oral polio vaccine developer, Dr. Albert B. Sabin, the Institute has been at the forefront of efforts to control, treat, and eliminate these diseases by developing new vaccines, advocating use of existing vaccines, and promoting increased access to affordable medical treatments. For more information please visit www.sabin.org

About Sabin’s PDP
The Sabin PDP is focused on developing vaccines targeting neglected tropical diseases and the world's first and only vaccine initiative targeting human hookworm infection. This product development partnership (PDP) engages partners in academia, industry, government and civil society to fill an important market gap by collaborating with world class research and development institutions to create ultra low-cost vaccines for poor and underserved populations. PDP members involved in the development of Chagas and leishmaniasis vaccines include Texas Children’s Hospital, Baylor College of Medicine, Eisai Co., Ltd. , Birmex (Mexico), Cinvestav (Mexico), Autonomous University of Yucatan (Mexico), Bernhard Nocht Institute (Germany), NIH (DC) and the University of Pittsburgh (Pittsburgh).

About Eisai Co., Ltd.
Eisai Co., Ltd. is a research-based pharmaceutical company that discovers, develops and markets products worldwide. Guided by its corporate mission of “giving first thought to patients and their families, and to increasing the benefits that health care provides,” all Eisai Group corporate officers and employees aspire to meet the various needs of global health care as representatives of a “human health care (hhc) company” that is capable of making a meaningful contribution under any health care system. For more information about Eisai Co., Ltd., please visit www.eisai.com

About Eisai’s Commitment to Improving Global Access to Medicines
In line with its human health care (hhc) mission, Eisai is committed to improving global access to medicines over the medium-to-long term through partnership strategies that involve working with governments, international organizations, private entities and non-profit organizations. Specifically, the company has developed and is implementing a five-target approach to improve access to medicines worldwide. The five key components are: product creations, strategic solutions, capacity building, quality innovation, and long-term investment. As part of these efforts, the company has agreed to provide the medicine diethylcarbamazine (DEC) free of charge to the WHO in support of its program to eliminate the neglected tropical disease lymphatic filariasis.
For further information on Eisai’s Access to Medicines initiatives, please visit the Access to Medicines page on the Eisai Global website: http://www.eisai.com/company/atm/index.html

*Source: World Bank (2005)

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