GlaxoSmithKline opens facility to wipe out Lymphatic Filariasis
3 November 2005 00:00 in Company product news
GlaxoSmithKline yesterday announced the opening of a new facility in South Africa that it hopes will help to eradicate Lymphatic Filariasis (LF), commonly known as elephantiasis, over a 20-year period.
The factory will manufacture de-worming tablets containing the albendazole agent at the $3 million facility.
Glaxo has been working with the World Health Organization (WHO) for the past seven years on a program to eliminate LF and this announcement is considered to be the largest drug donation scheme in global pharmaceutical industry history.
Since the inception of the program in 1998 Glaxo has provided over 400 million free treatments of albendazole to more than 80 million people worldwide. This year alone the company plans to donate 140 million treatments of albendazole to 40 countries.
LF threatens over one billion people in 80 countries and 120 million people are already affected, 40 million of whom are seriously incapacitated and disfigured by the disease.
"The world rightly focuses much attention on AIDS, TB and Malaria, but we mustn't fall into the trap of forgetting those diseases, such as LF, which cause enormous suffering and poverty. With the right will and with continuing efforts, LF could be the second disease in history to be eliminated," JP Garnier, chief executive officer, GlaxoSmithKline said.
In other news, shares in Glaxo fell 1.4 per cent yesterday ahead of a ruling in a patent case over Wellbutrin XL, which could lead to the launch of generic versions of the antidepressant in the US.
Abrika is seeking a ruling of non-infringement of Glaxo's patents on the drug in a hearing in the US District Court for the Southern District of Florida.© Adfero Ltd
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Story collated for Zenopa by the Adfero News Agency