Nepal and Bangladesh have been directly impacted as a result of OneWorld Health work. Other VL-endemic countries are impacted indirectly as a result of OneWorld Health's work to create access to PMIM. For example, PMIM was used in South Sudan and eastern Sudan for public health programs in 2010-2011; PMIM was registered in Uganda in 2012; PMIM was included on the Essential Medicine Lists of Ethiopia, Sudan, and Uganda; and registration for PMIM is ongoing in Ethiopia, Kenya, and Sudan.
Visceral leishmaniasis (VL) or kala-azar is a potentially fatal infectious disease that is transmitted through the bite of a sandfly and affects the visceral organs, causing chronic fever, weight loss, and anemia. VL is endemic in 79 countries, primarily in the developing world, and the population at risk is estimated at 200 million. If left untreated, VL is nearly always fatal. Officially, 20,000 to 40,000 deaths result from VL each year. Previously available therapies cost from US$20 to $250, and could be toxic or ineffective.
OneWorld Health developed PMIM as a safe, effective, and affordable treatment for VL. When used alone (as monotherapy), PMIM is administered in a once-a-day injection for 21 days. The cost of a course of treatment with PMIM is less than US$20, lower than other currently approved VL therapies. A number of studies are evaluating PMIM for use in combination with other treatments as a key tool in global VL elimination strategy.
With the successful approval of this new safe, effective, and inexpensive treatment for VL, OneWorld Health seeks to go beyond the identification and development of cures for neglected diseases. By pioneering an innovative 'Access to Cures' model, OneWorld Health is committed to creating a sustainable, scalable, and transferable access model in conjunction with local and regional partners to help ensure that the cures are available in VL-endemic countries. By building relationships with key stakeholders on local and regional levels, conducting necessary trials, and engaging in training and capacity-building activities, OneWorld Health plans to help endemic countries expand access to viable treatment options that can positively transform people's lives.
OneWorld Health works as a product development partnership to develop high-quality treatments and bring them to market cost-effectively. We welcome partnership opportunities that would allow us to achieve our mission of expanding access to the cures we develop. We also welcome financial support to help us reach our commitment goals and expand them further to impact the health of millions.