Access to Medicines
CSL announces new partnership with US National Institutes of Health
On the 8 December 2011 CSL announced a new partnership with the world’s largest health research agency, the US National Institutes of Health (NIH), to study a potential therapy for the prevention of congenital CMV infection. Cytomegalovirus (CMV) is one of the most common known causes of birth abnormalities in the developed world. Between 1% and 2% of pregnant women are infected with CMV for the first time during their pregnancy, and one in three will pass the CMV infection on to their developing unborn child.
The NIH will shortly commence a very large clinical trial in the US to determine whether CMV immunoglobulin (CMV antibodies from human plasma) can prevent mother to baby transmission of CMV. CSL is donating 12,000 units of CytoGam® for use in the study, valued at US$2.5 million. CytoGam® is the only registered CMV immunoglobulin in the US.
In Australia, CMV is one of the leading causes of disabilities in infants, including deafness, blindness, cerebral palsy, mental and physical disabilities, seizures, and even death. The symptoms of CMV may not be immediately apparent at birth, and even well beyond. There is currently no proven therapeutic prevention for congenital CMV.
CSL is donating product made at its Swiss plant to the NIH for use in this trial as part of its commitment to addressing significant public health issues through collaborative research.
Helping to achieve equity of access to pandemic influenza vaccine
In October 2009, CSL pledged 3 million doses of H1N1 influenza vaccine to the World Health Organization (WHO) to help protect those most at risk in developing countries in the South and Western Pacific and in South East Asia.
On announcing the pledge, CSL’s Chairman, Elizabeth Alexander said…”Achieving equity of access to the H1N1 vaccine for developing countries remains a major global challenge. As the only manufacturer of influenza vaccine in the Southern Hemisphere, we have a unique role to play in not only helping to protect the health of Australians, but those in our region.
CSL has since made a further gift of US$490,000 to the WHO to enable the purchase of syringes for our multi-dose vials and to support the cold chain transport of our donated vaccine to recipient countries. We have also helped support the deployment of pandemic vaccine donated by the Australian Government.
On 23 February 2010, we dispatched the very first shipment of Australian donated vaccine to Laos. Since then, further shipments have been made to Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Kirabati, Tonga, Vanuatu, Maldives and Solomon Islands. In April 2010, arrangements were being made for a shipment to Sri Lanka.
Improving Access to Life-Saving Medicines
|On 17th April 2009, CSL Behring (CSL Ltd subsidiary) marked World Hemophilia Day with a three year commitment to donate two million units of factor VIII concentrate (blood clotting agent) each year to the World Federation of Hemophilia (WFH). |
Through WFH's Global Alliance for Progress (GAP) program, the donation will help support progress in improving the diagnosis and treatment of people with hemophilia in developing countries. As a GAP sustaining partner and long time supporter of the WFH, including member organisations in Australia and New Zealand, improving access to life-saving medicines is at the core of CSL's community investment program.
The donation, the total value of which will be approximately US$2million, will be made using coagulation factor concentrate with a minimum shelf-life of one year.
According to WFH, an estimated 400,000 people worldwide are living with hemophilia and only 25 percent receive adequate treatment. The WFH works with governments, hemophilia associations, key medical personnel and industry partners to build long-term, sustainable care for individuals suffering from bleeding disorders. Since WFH's GAP program was launched in 2003, more than 8,500 newly identified patients with hemophilia, von Willebrand Disease and other bleeding disorders have been diagnosed and registered in GAP countries such as, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Ecuador, Egypt, Georgia, Jordan, Lebanon, Mexico, Philippines, Thailand and Russia.
To further support the valuable work of the WFH, CSL Behring has renewed its pledge to provide separate financial contributions totaling nearly US$1 million over a three year period.