The Indian multinational pharmaceutical company, Ranbaxy Laboratories has received regulatory nod to launch its indigenously developed anti-malarial drug, Synriam, in seven African countries. The company is going to be launching its first New Chemical Entity (NCE) Synriam in seven African countries namely Nigeria, Uganda, Senegal, Cameroon, Guinea, Kenya and Ivory Coast, said Ranbaxy Laboratories in a statement.
They further added that the product has already been launched in Uganda and will be made available in other six countries towards the end of January 2015. Ranbaxy CEO and MD Arun Sawhney said, "Most malaria cases and deaths occur in sub- Saharan Africa... Synriam is among the best options available today as it is highly effective, affordable and a convenient therapy option, leading to better compliance."
Mr. Sawhney also said that the company is confident that the drug will help the government and healthcare system in Africa to fight the menace of malaria. The new drug conforms to the recommendations of the World Health Organization (WHO) for using combination therapy in malaria. Commenting on the drug, Ranbaxy said that Synriam provides quick relief from most malaria-related symptoms, including fever, and has a high cure rate of over 95 percent.
The dosage regimen for the product involves the patient taking just one tablet per day for three days, which is much simpler when compared to other medicines where two to four tablets are required to be taken, twice daily, for three or more days. The Ranbaxy spokesperson added, "Since Synriam has a synthetic source, unlike artemisinin based drugs, production can be scaled up whenever required and a consistent supply can be maintained at a low cost."
Ranbaxy had commenced the research on the drug in 2003 and received the Drug Controller General of India's (DCGI) approval in 2011 to manufacture and market it in India. The product is used for treatment of acute uncomplicated "Plasmodium falciparum malaria" in patients aged 12 years and above. The spokesperson further added that the company is also conducting Phase III clinical trials for the pediatric formulation of Synriam for usage in children suffering from the same problem.