27 June 2017

From the Program Lead: reflecting on six months of highs and lows

The first half of 2017 has been a time of ups and downs for the Pediatric Praziquantel (PZQ) Consortium. In our previous newsletter, we informed you of the start of our Phase II clinical trial in Ivory Coast. The study assesses the efficacy and safety of different doses of...

Unfortunately, we have faced delay in the conduct of the study. A wave of labor unrest and military mutinies (in Jan, Feb and May 2017) have negatively impacted the study timelines. In addition, we have experienced slower than planned subject recruitment. We are closely working with the local Ministry of Health to jointly enable the continuation of our study, and I am confident we will be able to continue and complete the study.

On the upside, I am very happy that the Global Health Innovative Technology (GHIT) Fund continues its support for the Pediatric Praziquantel Consortium. After being awarded funding in 2014 (US$ 1,86m) and 2015 (US$ 4,9m) for our phase I and II programs, respectively, the Consortium was awarded an additional funding of US$4.7m to support the phase III program and the registration file submission. This partnership with the GHIT Fund has been an important factor for success when moving ahead with the pediatric praziquantel program. You can read more about it in this newsletter.

Lastly, I am proud to highlight a Consortium publication in PLOS NTD, which shares our experiences of organizing expert meetings. Such meetings have contributed significantly to the Consortium’s success so far. The next expert meeting is planned for 2018, with various stakeholders including National Ministries of Health Neglected Tropical disease and Mother/Child Health Coordinators; the World Health Organization; and potential procurers. It will discuss ways of ensuring future free-of-cost access of PZQ ODTs for children. Feedback from this meeting will be incorporated in the Access plan currently being prepared by the Consortium.

Please enjoy this Newsletter, and feel free to reach out to us in case you would like to learn more about the Consortium and our work.

Dr. Elly Kourany-Lefoll, Program Lead