In partnership with Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi), Sanofi-aventis has developed ASAQ, the first once-a-day fixed-dose antimalarial combination drug.
In April 2005, Sanofi-aventis signed an agreement with Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi) to develop a new medicine against malaria, in response to a call from the World Health Organization (WHO) for malaria be treated by drug combinations to combat resistance.
DNDi and Sanofi-aventis developed a fixed-dose combination (FDC) of two antimalarial compounds, artesunate and amodiaquine (ASAQ) that was easier to use and more affordable than any other combination currently available. Sanofi-aventis developed the product at industrial level, carried out additional clinical studies, prepared the dossier for regulatory authorities and applied for WHO prequalification. The medicine, now registered in 24 African countries, was prequalified by the WHO in October 2008. The new formulation simplifies adult treatment to 2 tablets once a day for three days. The pediatric dose is also simplified: one tablet a day for three days.
Sanofi-aventis committed to sell the product ‘at no profit-no loss’ to health ministries in affected countries, intergovernmental institutions, NGOs and programs promoting access to drugs in pharmacies. A full treatment costs less than USD 0.50 for children less than 5 years old and less than USD 1 for older children and adults. In 2009, the first full year after WHO prequalification, 23 million treatments were sold at preferential prices to over 20 malaria-endemic countries.
In June 8th, 2010 Sanofi-aventis was awarded the 2010 Global Business Coalition Core Competence Award, for its innovative Malaria Access to Medicines partnership program with the Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative (DNDi).