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Press release: Medicines for Malaria Venture announces collaborative agreement with S Kant HEALTHCARE Ltd

March 11, 2016 - 10:10 -- Ingeborg van Schayk
Collaboration will develop a protective medicine for children living at high risk of malaria
Switzerland and India, 9 March 2016. Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV) has established a new collaboration with S Kant HEALTHCARE Ltd an Indian-based pharmaceutical company, for the development of a dispersible, taste-masked formulation of sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine and amodiaquine (SP+AQ) for seasonal malaria chemoprevention (SMC) in the Sahel region in Africa.

The collaboration has been entered into with the aim of achieving WHO-prequalification of SP+AQ in 2017, and was established under the UNITAID-funded project ACCESS-SMC.[1] The project is led by Malaria Consortium in partnership with Catholic Relief Services and other partners, including MMV, and is supporting National Malaria Control Programmes to scale-up access to SMC across seven countries in the Sahel. By demonstrating the feasibility and impact of SMC at scale, ACCESS-SMC will promote the intervention’s wider adoption.

‘‘This new collaboration is an example of MMV’s commitment to develop high-quality medicines adapted to the needs of the most vulnerable patient populations,” said Dr David Reddy, MMV’s CEO. ‘‘A child-friendly formulation of SP+AQ will help improve compliance to treatment and in turn enhance the impact of this important protective medicine.’’

Mr Bharat Shah, MD of S Kant HEALTHCARE Ltd said: “We are happy to collaborate with MMV on this important project. Prevention is better than cure, and when it comes to high child mortality due to malaria, interventions to reduce disease are critical. Our goal remains to fight malaria in every possible region globally. Developing a child-friendly, palatable and cost-efficient formulation of SP+AQ for use in the sub-Saharan African/Sahel region shall help to advance the cause of defeating malaria.”

Notes for editors

About the topic[2]
Seasonal Malaria Chemoprevention (SMC) is defined as the intermittent administration of full treatment courses of an antimalarial medicine to children (3–59 months of age) during the malaria season in areas of highly seasonal transmission. The objective is to prevent malarial illness by maintaining therapeutic antimalarial drug concentrations in the blood throughout the period of greatest malarial risk. WHO recommends SMC with sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine and amodiaquine in areas with highly seasonal malaria transmission in the Sahel sub-region of sub-Saharan Africa, where P. falciparum is sensitive to both antimalarial medicines.

Across the Sahel sub-region, most childhood malarial disease and deaths occur during the rainy season, which is generally short (3–4 months). Giving effective malaria treatment at monthly intervals during this period has been shown to be 75% protective against uncomplicated and severe malaria in children under 5 years of age. An estimated 25 million children aged 3–59 months could benefit from seasonal malaria chemoprevention every year.

SK Group, established in 1932 by a young, dynamic and uncompromising individual Mr. Sevantilal K. Shah, today is a multi-faceted group of 16 companies manufacturing Pharmaceuticals formulations, Bulk Drugs, Chemicals, Excipients, and Intermediates besides being India’s largest pharmaceutical logistics provider. Driven by a burning passion to carve a niche on the global map, the SK Group companies integrate traditional wisdom and values with contemporary practices through its 4th generation of family members.

An extended arm of the SK Group, S Kant HEALTHCARE Ltd endeavors to touch the pinnacle in the field of Pharmaceutical Formulations & Bulk Drugs. Possessing an environment encompassing modern management techniques, the company sets quality as a preamble to all its applications. The company aims to set high product quality parameters adhering to cGMP & cGLP norms.

S Kant HEALTHCARE Ltd is an EU-GMP Certified manufacturing facility. It is also GMP certified as per WHO norms. MHRA, MCC & TGA accreditations are on the horizon.   It has a state of the art in house R&D facility. The Pharmaceuticals formulations are supported by backward integrated Anti-Malarial API’s.

The Company contract manufactures for 2 out of the top 5 Pharmaceutical companies in India. Today, S Kant HEALTHCARE Ltd enjoys a global presence in over 70+ countries across Asia, Africa, South America and Oceania.

About Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV)
MMV is a leading product development partnership (PDP) in the field of antimalarial drug research and development. Its mission is to reduce the burden of malaria in disease-endemic countries by discovering, developing and delivering new, effective and affordable antimalarial drugs.

Since its foundation in 1999, MMV and partners have developed and brought forward six new medicines: Coartem® Dispersible (artemether-lumefantrine), a child-friendly formulation developed by Novartis; Guilin’s artesunate injection Artesun® for the treatment of severe malaria; Eurartesim® (dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine) with Sigma-Tau; Pyramax® and Pyramax® Granules for children (pyronaridine-artesunate) co-developed with Shin Poong; and Guilin’s sulphadoxine-pyrimethamine + artesunate amodiaquine (SP+AQ) for seasonal malaria chemoprevention, which received WHO prequalification with MMV’s support. In addition, MMV has taken over the stewardship of two approved artemisinin combination therapies (ACTs) developed by Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi) and partners – artesunate-amodiaquine (ASAQ) and artesunate-mefloquine (ASMQ).

Since 2009, over 300 million courses of Coartem Dispersible treatment have been supplied to 50 malaria-endemic countries; and since prequalification in 2010, an estimated 36 million vials of artesunate injection have been delivered, saving an estimated 200,000–240,000 additional lives.

MMV and partners manage a portfolio of 65 projects, the largest portfolio of antimalarial R&D and access projects ever assembled. The portfolio includes nine new drugs in clinical development addressing unmet medical needs in malaria, including medicines for children, pregnant women and relapsing malaria, and drugs that could support the elimination/eradication agenda. MMV’s success in research and access & product management comes from its extensive partnership network of over 400 pharmaceutical, academic and endemic-country partners in more than 55 countries.

MMV’s vision is a world in which innovative medicines will cure and protect the vulnerable and under-served populations at risk of malaria, and ultimately help to eradicate this terrible disease. For more information, please visit

For more information:
S-Kant Healthcare:
Mobile: + 91 99307 06522
Medicines for Malaria Venture:
Jaya Banerji    
Director Communications and Advocacy
Mobile: +41 79 707 71 81

UNITAID is engaged in finding new ways to prevent, treat and diagnose HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria more quickly, more cheaply and more effectively. It takes game-changing ideas and turns them into practical solutions that can help accelerate the end of the three diseases. Established in 2006 by Brazil, Chile, France, Norway and the United Kingdom to provide an innovative approach to global health, UNITAID plays an important part in the global effort to defeat HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, by facilitating and speeding up the availability of improved health tools, including medicines and diagnostics.
UNITAID identifies health solutions that show promise and invests in them to establish their viability so that partner organizations can then make them widely available.
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We ask you not rely unduly on these statements. Such forward-looking statements reflect the current views of Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV) and its partner(s) regarding future events, and involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties.  
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[1] ACCESS-SMC: Achieving Catalytic Expansion of Seasonal Malaria Chemoprevention in the Sahel is a 3-year project and includes among its implementers the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, Centre de Support de Santé International, Management Sciences for Health, Medicines for Malaria Venture and Speak Up Africa.
[2] World Health Organization Seasonal malaria chemoprevention (SMC) accessed 4 March 2016:


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Good job and we hope more...