BREAKTHROUGHS BLOG

February 21, 2012

OWH’s treatment for kala-azar gains registration in Nepal

GHTC member OneWorld Health (OWH) recently announced that its treatment for kala-azar, or leishmaniasis, was registered for use in Nepal. In this guest post, OWH explains why this announcement is so significant for global health.

Today we are thrilled to announce that our antibiotic Paromomycin Intramuscular Injection (PMIM), developed to treat visceral leishmaniasis (VL or kala-azar), has been registered by the government of Nepal. This is the second registration for PMIM in South Asia. It was previously registered with the government of India and added to the National Lists of Essential Medicines of India, Nepal, and Bangladesh. It was also added to the World Health Organization’s Model List of Essential Medicines.

Now that the treatment is registered in Nepal, OWH will move forward with our partners on public health studies to help the government determine the best way to distribute and use the treatment in its public health system throughout the VL-endemic regions.

What is visceral leishmaniasis?

With approximately 500,000 new cases occurring annually, visceral leishmaniasis is the world’s second most deadly parasitic disease after malaria. Fatal if untreated, the official death toll for VL each year is between 50,000 and 60,000. VL is endemic in 79 countries, and primarily afflicts rural, resource-poor populations in India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Iraq, Sudan, and Brazil, where affordable therapies are needed.

Learn more about kala-azar: Kill or Cure: Kala-Azar

Now that the treatment is registered in Nepal, OWH will move forward with our partners on public health studies to help the government determine the best way to distribute and use the treatment in its public health system throughout the VL-endemic regions. Photo credit: OneWorld Health


What is Paromomycin Intramuscular Injection?

An off-patent aminoglycoside antibiotic, paromomycin is an established drug with an extensive history of use and a well-characterized safety profile. OWH developed PMIM as an effective, inexpensive, and safe treatment for VL, and worked with the Indian government and Indian pharmaceutical company Gland Pharma to manufacture and distribute the treatment. PMIM is administered as a once-a-day injection for 21 days. The cost of a course of treatment with PMIM is less than US$20, which is significantly lower than other currently approved VL therapies.

Please visit our website for more information – www.oneworldhealth.org.

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