MMV 4th in top 10 rare infectious disease drug developers

MMV considered an exception, as only non-profit in list of top 15 rare disease drug developers

28 Mar 2017

MMV is named fourth in the top 10 list of originators of drugs for rare infectious diseases according to the report A Bird’s-Eye View of the Rare Disease Landscape from Pharmaprojects – a clinical drug development database. MMV, which works with partners around the world to discover, develop and deliver new antimalarials for vulnerable populations, also ranks 14th in the list of originators of drugs for all rare diseases.

According to the report ‘The Medicines for Malaria Venture is truly an exception as it is the only non-profit foundation within the top 15 rare disease drug originators, beating numerous pharma and biotech companies, in addition to the fact that the foundation focuses on a single rare disease.’

While malaria cannot be considered a rare disease in the global context, the National Organization for Rare Disorders, an American NGO, defines rare diseases as those that affect fewer than 200,000 patients in the US, or fewer than 5 in 10,000 in the EU, or fewer than 4 in 10,000 in Japan.

The top three spots on the list of top 10 rare infectious disease drug originators go to three of MMV’s partners: Sanofi, GSK and Novartis, with another MMV partner, Johnson & Johnson, sixth on the list and fellow PDP TB Alliance listed 8th.

Fortunately, drugs for rare diseases are no longer a rare sight in pharma project pipelines. Last year, more than two-fifths of new drugs approved in the US were orphan drugs, and there are more than 4,500 drugs in active development for rare diseases. Explanations for this increase in research for rare diseases can be attributed to the rise of the product development partnership (PDP) model as well as the introduction of effective rare disease/orphan drug legislation and incentivization programmes from international regulators such as the Food and Drug Administration and European Medicines Agency.

“We are delighted with MMV’s high rank among originators of drugs for rare infectious diseases,” said Dr David Reddy, MMV’s CEO. “This is credit to the increasing impact MMV is able to have through working in partnership with the support of our donors in the research for more effective and affordable antimalarials. We are also pleased to see many of our partners individually recognised on the list. MMV is committed to continuing working in partnership until malaria becomes a rare disease worldwide.”