23.06.2022 02:01

Novartis renews commitment to neglected tropical disease and malaria elimination, investing USD 250 million over five years to research and develop new treatments

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  • Novartis endorses the Kigali Declaration on neglected tropical diseases, pledging USD 250 million to advance R&D of new treatments against NTDs and malaria over five years
  • Commitment includes USD 100 million to advance R&D for Chagas disease, leishmaniasis, dengue and cryptosporidiosis, and USD 150 million for next-generation antimalarials and a new formulation for babies under 5kg with malaria
  • Around the world, 1.7 billion people suffer from NTDs1, and there are 241 million cases of malaria2

Basel, June 23, 2022Novartis endorses the Kigali Declaration on neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) and announces a five-year financial commitment of USD 250 million to the fight against NTDs and malaria in conjunction with the Kigali Summit on Malaria and NTDs alongside the 26th Commonwealth Heads of Government (CHOGM) meeting. This summit comes at a pivotal time for world leaders to reaffirm commitments to end neglected tropical diseases and malaria through the adoption of the Kigali Declaration. The declaration aims to mobilize political will and secure commitments to achieve the SDG3 target on NTDs and to deliver the targets set out in the World Health Organization’s Neglected Tropical Disease Roadmap (2021-2030).

"Over the past decade, great progress has been made against NTDs, but there is still a lot more work to be done. Novartis will continue progressing our longstanding commitment to helping realize a world free of NTDs,” said Vas Narasimhan, CEO of Novartis. "Today, by endorsing the Kigali Declaration and pledging to invest USD 250 million, we aim to accelerate progress toward elimination of these diseases, which continue to cause suffering and stigma for millions of people around the globe.”

Novartis was among the original endorsers of the London Declaration on NTDs in 2012, committing to a multidrug therapy (MDT) donation to support global efforts to eliminate leprosy. This was followed with a commitment of USD 100 million toward the fight against malaria at the Malaria Summit in London in 2018. By endorsing the Kigali Declaration today, Novartis reaffirms its commitment to the fight against NTDs and malaria.

As part of the commitment over five years (2021-2025), Novartis will invest USD 250 million to advance research and development (R&D) of new treatments to combat NTDs and malaria.

This includes USD 100 million to advance R&D of its neglected tropical disease program, focusing on novel drug candidates for four diseases. In collaboration with Wellcome, the Novartis Institute for Tropical Diseases (NITD) is working to discover novel, curative anti-parasitic therapies for Chagas disease. Further, we are collaborating with the Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative (DNDi), with earlier support from Wellcome, to jointly develop LXE408 for the treatment of visceral leishmaniasis, and are currently entering Phase II clinical development. We also made progress on a potential first-in-class compound to treat dengue fever, which is currently in Phase I clinical trial. Although this is the most common vector-borne viral disease in the world, there is currently no specific treatment for dengue. Cryptosporidium infection is the most prevalent form of parasitic diarrhea, a major cause of mortality among young children in developing countries. The NITD has discovered a promising drug candidate, EDI048, currently in Phase I clinical development.

With regards to malaria, Novartis commits to investing USD 150 million to advance the clinical development programs of its three novel drug candidates to combat the emerging resistance to artemisinin. The company will also continue with activities to support the development of an optimized formulation for neonates and infants under 5kg, for whom no treatment currently exists.

Around the world, 1.7 billion people suffer from NTDs, which are prevalent in tropical areas and mostly affect impoverished communities, causing devastating health, social and economic consequences. The NITD was established in 2001 within the Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research (NIBR) to apply modern drug discovery technologies to finding new therapeutics for NTDs and malaria.

Novartis has been committed to the fight against malaria for more than 20 years and to date, working with partners, the company has delivered more than 1 billion treatments, including more than 450 million pediatric treatments, without profit to malaria-endemic countries. According to the 2021 World Malaria Report, there were 241 million cases of malaria and 627,000 malaria deaths in 2020. Children under 5 are particularly at risk, and malaria takes the life of a child every minute in Africa.

For more information on our work in NTDs: Novartis Institute for Tropical Diseases | Novartis
For more information on our work in malaria: www.malaria.novartis.com

Disclaimer
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements can generally be identified by words such as "potential,” "can,” "will,” "plan,” "may,” "could,” "would,” "expect,” "anticipate,” "seek,” "look forward,” "believe,” "committed,” "investigational,” "pipeline,” "launch,” or similar terms, or by express or implied discussions regarding potential marketing approvals, new indications or labeling for the investigational or approved products described in this press release, or regarding potential future revenues from such products. You should not place undue reliance on these statements. Such forward-looking statements are based on our current beliefs and expectations regarding future events, and are subject to significant known and unknown risks and uncertainties. Should one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize, or should underlying assumptions prove incorrect, actual results may vary materially from those set forth in the forward-looking statements. There can be no guarantee that the investigational or approved products described in this press release will be submitted or approved for sale or for any additional indications or labeling in any market, or at any particular time. Nor can there be any guarantee that such products will be commercially successful in the future. In particular, our expectations regarding such products could be affected by, among other things, the uncertainties inherent in research and development, including clinical trial results and additional analysis of existing clinical data; regulatory actions or delays or government regulation generally; global trends toward health care cost containment, including government, payor and general public pricing and reimbursement pressures and requirements for increased pricing transparency; our ability to obtain or maintain proprietary intellectual property protection; the particular prescribing preferences of physicians and patients; general political, economic and business conditions, including the effects of and efforts to mitigate pandemic diseases such as COVID-19; safety, quality, data integrity or manufacturing issues; potential or actual data security and data privacy breaches, or disruptions of our information technology systems, and other risks and factors referred to in Novartis AG’s current Form 20-F on file with the US Securities and Exchange Commission. Novartis is providing the information in this press release as of this date and does not undertake any obligation to update any forward-looking statements contained in this press release as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

About Novartis
Novartis is reimagining medicine to improve and extend people’s lives. As a leading global medicines company, we use innovative science and digital technologies to create transformative treatments in areas of great medical need. In our quest to find new medicines, we consistently rank among the world’s top companies investing in research and development. Novartis products reach nearly 800 million people globally and we are finding innovative ways to expand access to our latest treatments. About 108,000 people of more than 140 nationalities work at Novartis around the world. Find out more at https://www.novartis.com.

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References

  1. https://unitingtocombatntds.org/ntds/
  2. https://www.who.int/teams/global-malaria-programme/reports/world-malaria-report-2021

# # #

Novartis Media Relations
E-mail: media.relations@novartis.com

Neil Henderson
Novartis External Communications
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Julie Masow
Novartis US External Communications
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Arzum Ustun
Novartis Global Health Communications
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Novartis Sub-Saharan Africa Communications
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