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Progress Report on Biopharmaceutical Industry Contributions to the Global Fight Against Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs)

Published 04-18-17

Submitted by International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers & Associations

Comprehensive efforts to fight Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs)
On the occasion of the 5th anniversary of the World Health Organization's roadmap on NTDs and the London Declaration, IFPMA released today its latest report “Doing our part – Innovating to fight Neglected Tropical Diseases” that provides the most up-to-date record of active research and development (R&D) projects for the next generation of medicines and vaccines for NTDs[i].

The biopharmaceutical industry continues to make progress in cutting-edge R&D for NTDs[ii]. IFPMA member companies are involved in 109 active R&D projects to develop new or improved treatments and vaccines for NTDs, with NTDs breakthroughs (late stage testing, Phase III) of treatments and vaccines of 7 compounds anticipated to help tackle American Trypanosomiasis (Chagas disease), dengue, Human African trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness), lymphatic filariasis, rabies, and trachoma.

To ensure that new or improved treatments and vaccines are discovered, despite low commercial incentives in the area of NTDs, the biopharmaceutical industry engages in multi-sectoral research models as well as partnering with over 50 organizations, including renowned universities, non-governmental organizations and public and private sector institutes. This sharing of expertise speeds up research, reduces risks and duplications, and ensures sustainable financing.

IFPMA presented its progress report as the global health community gathers[iii] to review what has been realized over the past 5 years and discusses plans on how to achieve the goal of control, eliminate and eradicate 10 NTDs. In 2012, IFPMA member companies pledged 14 billion donated treatments to control or eliminate the ten NTDs responsible for more than 90% of the global NTD burden. Year on year, biopharmaceutical companies have met their commitments; 1.5 billion treatments were donated in 2015 alone.

“Health is wealth. Nowhere is this more poignantly evident than in areas where NTDs are present and impede economic development. Taking steps to reduce the toll of NTDs takes long-term and wide-ranging commitment from governments, civil society and business. The research-based biopharmaceutical industry has stepped up to the plate, not only with historic levels of medicines donations, but also with long-term commitment to R&D” says Thomas Cueni, Director General at IFPMA.

Adding to their R&D efforts and donations, companies provide in-kind contributions that are specifically targeted to NTDs R&D. This includes sharing intellectual property assets such as compounds and compounds libraries for research purposes, giving access to research facilities, hosting scientists, and providing training. It also includes transfer of technology, and building technical expertise to develop, manufacture, register and distribute NTDs products.

IFPMA member companies are also involved in over 40 partnerships to assist countries in bolstering their medical infrastructures. Programs focus on building health services that are accessible and staffed with qualified healthcare workers to enable the delivery of medicines and vaccines down the last mile. They also provide people living in endemic areas information to help prevent the spread of infection, and infrastructure programs to address water, sanitation and hygiene[iv].

About IFPMA
IFPMA represents research-based pharmaceutical companies and associations across the globe. The research-based pharmaceutical industry's 2 million employees research, develop and provide medicines and vaccines that improve the life of patients worldwide. Based in Geneva, IFPMA has official relations with the United Nations and contributes industry expertise to help the global health community find solutions that improve global health. IFPMA advocates policies and practices that encourage the discovery of and access to life-saving and life-enhancing medicines and vaccines, for people everywhere.


[i] The IFPMA report provides the most up-to-date record of active research and development (R&D) projects for the following NTDs: American trypanosomiasis (Chagas disease), Chikungunya, dengue, Human African trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness), leishmaniasis, lymphatic filariasis, mycetoma, onchocerciasis (river blindness), rabies, schistosomiasis, and trachoma.

[ii] The G-FINDER 2016 finds that “Industry investment in neglected disease R&D in 2015 was the highest ever recorded in the G-FINDER survey”. The pharmaceutical industry contributed USD 471 million to global R&D efforts, and is the only sector (compared to public and philanthropic sectors) to have recorded year-on-year growth for the last four years. This latest report covers 39 diseases (full list of neglected diseases on page 11).

[iii] NTD Summit, 19-22 April 2017, Geneva.

[iv] For more information about these programs, and to learn of many other initiatives, please visit the IFPMA Health Partnerships Directory (www.partnerships.ifpma.org), the most comprehensive international database for health development programs involving the R&D biopharmaceutical industry. Each partnership profile offers valuable insights into why a specific program was developed, and the ways in which it is helping to make a difference to communities around the world.

International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers & Associations logo

International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers & Associations

International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers & Associations

The International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers & Associations (IFPMA) represents research-based pharmaceutical companies and associations across the globe. Based in Geneva, IFPMA has official relations with the United Nations and contributes industry expertise to help the global health community find solutions that improve global health.

Research-based pharmaceutical companies make a unique contribution to global health as innovators of life-saving and life-changing medicines and vaccines, which improved millions of lives around the world. Both IFPMA and its companies are involved in hundreds of partnerships, including the new Access Accelerated initiative, a partnership of over 20 biopharmaceutical companies developing innovative and sustainable solutions to improve access to non-communicable disease (NCDs) treatment and care in low- and middle income countries. Access Accelerated also partners with the World Bank and the Union of International Cancer Control to help address the full spectrum of access barriers to NCD medicines. These partnerships involve the discovery of treatments that threaten health security or unduly put a burden on low income countries, as well as support Universal Health Coverage (UHC) by expanding access to medicines and vaccines and strengthening health systems and in doing so, contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG 3 and SDG 17).

IFPMA hosts the Secretariat of the AMR Industry Alliance, a coalition of over 100 biotechnology, diagnostic, generics and research-based biopharmaceutical companies and trade associations that was formed to drive and measure industry progress to curb antimicrobial resistance. The AMR Industry Alliance ensures that signatories collectively deliver on the specific commitments made in the Industry Declaration on AMR and the Roadmap and measures progress made in the fight against antimicrobial resistance.

Other initiatives supported by IFPMA include: The African Global Health Leaders Fellowship and Fight the Fakes.

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