The Pediatric Praziquantel Consortium receives funding for the ADOPT programme, for the treatment of schistosomiasis in preschool-aged children

25 Feb 2021

GHIT and EDCTP co-invest additional €7.8 million in the Pediatric Praziquantel Consortium's access program for treatment of schistosomiasis in preschool-aged children

  • The Pediatric Praziquantel Consortium receives funding for the implementation of the ADOPT program, paving the way for the introduction of a child-friendly formulation to treat schistosomiasis in preschool-aged children.
  • The ADOPT program prepares for large-scale delivery of the new pediatric medication across endemic countries, once registered.

The Pediatric Praziquantel Consortium, an international public-private partnership dedicated to the development of a pediatric formulation to treat schistosomiasis in preschool-aged children, today announced that it has been awarded additional funds of €2.1 million from the Global Health Innovative Technology (GHIT) Fund and €5.7 million from the European & Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP). Together with continued contributions from Consortium partners, the funding from GHIT and EDCTP will support the ADOPT program – an implementation research program to prepare for the large-scale access and delivery of the Consortium’s novel pediatric medication in endemic countries.

Schistosomiasis is a highly prevalent parasitic disease in sub-Saharan Africa and one of the most damaging tropical diseases in terms of public health burden and economic impact. Praziquantel is the current ‘standard of care’ treatment. The drug is safe, effective, and available for adults and school-aged children. At present, this very vulnerable group of preschool-aged children has been left untreated in public health programs primarily due to the lack of an appropriate child-friendly formulation of the drug. The Consortium has bridged this treatment gap by developing a child-friendly tablet formulation of praziquantel. The tablet is orally dispersible and has improved taste properties. The project is in Phase III, with a pivotal trial being run in Kenya and Ivory Coast to generate confirmatory data for registration.

Through its ADOPT program, the Consortium aims to identify approaches to ensure wide acceptance and equitable access to its treatment for preschool-aged children suffering from schistosomiasis. The five-year program considers aspects ranging from technology transfers and logistics for local manufacturing and distribution of the drug, to social mobilization and acceptance by the population. To that end, the program will support studies in selected African countries, including Kenya and Ivory Coast.