Child-friendly antimalarial reaches new landmark of 250 million treatments delivered

Coartem® Dispersible was developed by Novartis and MMV to change the way children with malaria are treated

19 Nov 2014

The impact of child-friendly antimalarial Coartem® Dispersible (artemether-lumefantrine), developed through a public-private product development partnership between Novartis and MMV, has reached an unprecedented high. Since its launch in 2009, 250 million treatments of this cherry-flavoured, dispersible paediatric formulation, have been delivered to around 50 countries. As Coartem Dispersible has been shown to cure over 96% of cases of uncomplicated malaria in clinical trials,1 the public health impact of this drug has been enormous.

Launched in 2009, Coartem Dispersible was the first high-quality, fixed-dose, artemisinin combination therapy tailored for children. The medicine’s sweet taste is acceptable to children, and helps to ensure they receive a full curative dose and recover from malaria.

“Getting babies and small children to take bitter antimalarials was always a challenge,” said Dr David Reddy, CEO of MMV. “Coartem Dispersible has answered that challenge and since children under 5 are hardest hit by malaria, the delivery of 250 million treatments is a landmark worth celebrating. I applaud Novartis’ dedication to deliver these treatments without profit to young populations.”

The distribution to date of all Coartem® treatments, dispersible and tablet has reached a landmark 700 million treatments, delivered without profit, mostly to the public sector.

Photo slideshow: Children & malaria

1. Abdulla S & Sagara I. Dispersible formulation of artemether/lumefantrine: specifically developed for infants and young children. Malar J. 8 Suppl 1:S7 (2009).