09 December 2014

Advancing the knowledge on pediatric schistosomiasis

A number of recent lectures and presentations by Drs Kazuhiro Sako (Astellas) and Sonja Skopp (Merck) have helped to raise the profile of the Pediatric Praziquantel Consortium and its efforts to create a new formulation for children younger than 6 years.

Kazuhiro Sako gave a keynote lecture at the FIP (International Pharmaceutical Federation) Symposium on BA/BE of Oral Drug Products, in Seoul, talking about saving children’s lives in Africa and the role of pharmaceutical technologies. He gave insights into Astellas technologies such as WOWTAB® and OCAS® and talked in detail about the barriers to overcome when designing a pediatric formulation of praziquantel. The innovative technology application he described for the treatment of neglected tropical diseases received positive feedback from the participants. A subsequent poster presentation at AAPS (American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists) in San Diego in November was used by Kazuhiro to share progress on formulation development activities.

Sonja Skopp gave a plenary lecture at the 6th European Pediatric Formulation Initiative Conference, taking the audience through the complete story of the Pediatric Praziquantel Consortium from parasite to project and from product to people. She also gave an oral presentation at the Annual Meeting of the DPhG (German Pharmaceutical Society) onFighting Schistosomiasis in Young Children. This meeting was a particularly suitable venue: the Pharmaceutical Society of Japan (PSJ) had joined DPhG to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Frankfurt Goethe University, and Sonja was able to highlight Japanese consortium contributions and GHIT funding.