partners since 2016
duration of the program
About the Pediatric Praziquantel Consortium
Praziquantel (PZQ), the gold standard treatment for schistosomiasis, is currently available in large oral tablets that are suitable only for adults and school-aged children. Due to the size of the tablet, its bitter taste, and a lack of clinical data, an appropriate treatment for very young children does not exist. The consortium addresses this issue, and has developed a new orally disintegrating PZQ formulation that is currently in clinical development. The consortium is supported by grants from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in 2013 and the Global Health Initiative Technology Fund in 2014 and 2015. Visit the Pediatric Praziquantel Consortium website for more information about the program.
Bridging industry interests and societal needs
TI Pharma – now part of Lygature – helped to set up the consortium and fulfils an independent ‘broker’ role, a key ingredient of successful public-private development partnerships. Reflecting the consortium’s position at the crossroad between industry and society, the contributions being made by Lygature from January 2016 include:
- Coordination and governance. As consortium coordinator, Lygature provides necessary governance in terms of monitoring progress, finance, IP management, and collaborations. In addition, it successfully takes the lead in fundraising to support the clinical trial program (current total value: EUR 5m).
- Communication and dissemination . Lygature pro-actively coordinates the engagement with key stakeholders to share the consortium’s ambition to make a meaningful contribution to tropical medicine and health innovation in endemic countries. Responsibilities include (but are not limited to): presenting at (inter)national conferences; writing of (scientific) articles and news items; and development of the consortium’s communication strategy, website, and visual identity.
The Pediatric Praziquantel Consortium is an example of the Lygature mission to bring together public and private partners, and so to make a meaningful contribution to tropical medicine. The project relies heavily on Lygature’s expertise in both management and science. In addition, Lygature has helped to ensure that each partner’s needs, interests, and objectives are met.
Lygature together with
Enhancing manufacturing capacity in endemic countries
As part of its activities to develop a pediatric formulation for the treatment of schistosomiasis in preschool-age children, the Pediatric Praziquantel Consortium has recognized the critical need for building local manufacturing and distribution capacity in endemic countries.
Project partner spotlight: An interview with Daniel Lacerda de Oliveira from Farmanguinhos
Farmanguinhos, the federal governmental pharmaceutical laboratory of the Fiocruz Foundation in Brazil, plays a key role within the Pediatric Praziquantel Consortium, contributing vital expertise for the production and future distribution of the pediatric formulation in endemic countries.
To find out more about Farmanguinhos and its role within the project, we spoke to Daniel Lacerda de Oliveira, Project Manager in Research & Development at Farmanguinhos. Daniel also told us about the efforts being made during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Publication: Schistosomiasis Control: Leave No Age Group Behind
The current treatment and monitoring strategies for schistosomiasis control programs mainly focus on school-aged children, with much less attention given to pre-school age children and adults.
The gaps in the current methods of control are leading to health inequities, as addressed in a recent publication in Trends in Parasitology.