Children under five bear 67% of the burden of global malaria mortality, yet prior to 2009 there were no high-quality ACTs specifically developed for children.
Antimalarials developed for adults do not necessarily meet children’s needs
Drug metabolism and pharmacokinetics can differ between adults and children. Furthermore, antimalarial tablets for adults need to be broken up or crushed for children, making it difficult to ensure correct dosing, and the bitter taste causes children to gag or spit out the medicine that could save their lives.
Coartem Dispersible: a child-friendly medicine for acute uncomplicated malaria
Novartis and MMV co-developed Coartem Dispersible (artemether-lumefantrine) to address these unmet medical needs and set a new standard of child-friendly treatment for malaria. This flavour-masked formulation disperses in as little as 10ml of water within 30 seconds and is readily taken by young patients, thus helping improve compliance and dosing accuracy.
Since its launch, 430 million treatments of Coartem Dispersible have been distributed in more than 50 countries.
In order to meet the need for ACTs approved for infants <5kg, MMV and Novartis are currently developing a formulation with a new ratio of artemether and lumefantrine specifically for these youngest patients.