Funding enables partnership to continue critical battle against MDR-TB;
Reinvestment brings Lilly's total commitment to $120 million for
NEW YORK, March 22 /CNW/ -- Eli Lilly and Company (NYSE: LLY) today
announced plans to invest an additional $50 million in an innovative, global
partnership to fight Multi-Drug Resistant Tuberculosis (MDR-TB). The
announcement is being made in conjunction with World TB Day activities.
This new commitment furthers Lilly's support of a pioneering initiative
started in 2003, and brings the total Lilly investment to $120 million. The
funding supports a multi-pronged strategy to increase the supply and
availability of effective drugs for treating the complex and life-threatening
disease; training for front-line health care personnel; and efforts to focus
global resources on prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of MDR-TB.
Highly contagious, difficult to treat, and a growing threat to global
public health, MDR-TB strikes about 450,000 people each year, with the highest
rates of prevalence in China, India, South Africa and the countries of the
former Soviet Union. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that the
average MDR-TB patient infects up to 20 other people in his or her lifetime
and cases of MDR-TB have been found in virtually every country surveyed by
WHO. When drugs used to treat MDR-TB are misused or mismanaged, the even more
virulent Extreme Drug Resistant TB (XDR-TB) can develop.
The Lilly MDR-TB Partnership is an international alliance of 14 public
and private organizations, including businesses, humanitarian organizations,
academic institutions, and professional health care associations.
"Eli Lilly and Company understands its role in the global battle against
MDR-TB and recognizes its responsibility to those afflicted by this deadly
disease," said Sidney Taurel, Lilly's chairman and chief executive officer.
"These additional funds will extend our commitment to transferring the
technologies and improving the support systems needed to stop the spread of
A cornerstone of the Lilly MDR-TB Partnership is its success in
influencing key MDR-TB policies around the world including introducing new
treatment protocols and convincing the global health care community that
treating MDR-TB is just as important as treating primary TB. More than 40
countries now have health policies addressing MDR-TB.
Dr. Paul Farmer, physician, medical anthropologist and founding director
of Partners in Health, was one of the first to approach Lilly about investing
in this effort. He described the Lilly MDR-TB Partnership as unique among
"I'm not sure people understand the scope of the Lilly MDR-TB
Partnership, which has reached tens of thousands directly but may also serve
as an example of how we can draw on the resources of the pharmaceutical
industry to address some of the most important public health problems of our
times. The partnership has helped establish better MDR-TB treatment
guidelines, improved care for those stricken with MDR-TB in Russia,
sub-Saharan Africa, China and India and made critical antibiotics more
available to save lives everywhere," Farmer said. "Lilly's continuing support
In addition to Partners in Health, those in Lilly's MDR-TB Partnership
include the International Council of Nurses, International Federation of the
Red Cross & Red Crescent Societies, International Hospital Federation, Purdue
University, TB Alert, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC),
World Economic Forum, World Health Organization/Stop TB Partnership, and World
Medical Association. Each of the partner organizations are contributing to
the success in changing the MDR-TB treatment paradigm.
Over the last few years, with support from Lilly, thousands of health
care workers have been trained in treating MDR-TB and thousands of community
workers have helped patients and their families overcome MDR-TB and its
stigma. The additional funding will enable more training of healthcare
workers, support workplace education aimed at earlier identification of TB and
HIV and increase the number of countries with strengthened MDR-TB control.
"The emergence of the deadly XDR-TB strain underscores the urgency of
stopping MDR-TB. It is a global priority," said Dr Mario Raviglione, Director
of the Stop TB Department, World Health Organization. "The continued
commitment of the Lilly MDR-TB Partnership to the global fight against MDR-TB
has greatly helped improve proper TB treatment protocols and monitoring
systems. They understood very early that providing drugs to treat MDR-TB was
"Through this unique and effective partnership, the ICN and nurses on the
ground aim to bring quality, dignified care to communities and individuals
living with TB, improved adherence to treatment, and strengthened prevention
strategies," said Judith Oulton, CEO of the International Council of Nurses.
"We are convinced that the cross-sectoral, multi-disciplinary approach of the
Lilly partnership will lead not only to better outcomes for TB and MDR-TB
patients, but also a reduction in disease burden and drug resistance. This is
an innovation that works."
Another centerpiece of Lilly's MDR-TB Partnership is the transfer of
technologies and expertise needed to manufacture two Lilly antibiotics used to
treat MDR-TB, capreomycin (Capastat(R)) and cycloserine (Seromycin(R)), to
facilities in the highest-burdened countries. Since 2003, Lilly has
transferred its technology, formula and trademark to generic drug makers,
including Aspen Pharmacare (South Africa), Hisun Pharmaceuticals (China),
Shasun Chemicals and Drugs (India), and SIA International/Biocom (Russia).
In addition to supplying the necessary manufacturing know-how to produce
the drugs, Lilly provides financial assistance for the purchase of equipment
and conversion of manufacturing facilities. This includes working with the
Chao Center at Purdue University to provide technical expertise and training
in good manufacturing practices.
Today, each of the Lilly MDR-TB Partnership firms is contributing to
increasing the supply of two much-needed MDR-TB antibiotics. Additionally,
since 2000, Lilly has supplied more than one million vials of capreomycin and
more than five million capsules of cycloserine through the WHO's Directly
Observed Treatment-Plus (DOTS-Plus) program. Through the WHO, projects in 40
countries have been approved to receive concessionary-priced MDR-TB drugs for
the treatment of up to 26,000 MDR-TB patients.
Lilly, a leading innovation-driven corporation, is developing a growing
portfolio of first-in-class and best-in-class pharmaceutical products by
applying the latest research from its own worldwide laboratories and from
collaborations with eminent scientific organizations. Headquartered in
Indianapolis, Ind., Lilly provides answers -- through medicines and
information -- for some of the world's most urgent medical needs. Additional
information about Lilly is available at www.lilly.com.
(Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20031219/LLYLOGO )
For further information:
For further information: Phil Belt (United States), +1-317-276-2506, or
Frances Beves (Europe), 44-01276-484810, both of Eli Lilly and Company