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Shin Poong Pharm in partnership with Perspective Healthcare has Wednesday launched a new Artemesinin Combination Therapy (ACT) in the fight against Malaria.

The drug has demonstrated high cure rates and provides a long-term protection with less reinfection.

Taken once daily for 3 days, Pyramax® optimises has no food effect and has a child-friendly formulation, bringing added-value for the treatment of malaria in Kenya.

Pyramax® is a fixed-dose combination of pyronaridine andartenusate and was co-developed by Medicines for Malaria Venturesand Shin Poong Pharmaceutical Company Limited of South Korea.

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Perspective Healthcare are the Marketing agentof the Pyramax brand in East Africa while SurgiPharm are the local distributers.

Pyramax® is the newest ACT combination to be approved by a Stringent Regulatory Authority and the only ACT to be granted a positive scientific opinion under the European Medicines Agency’s Article 58 procedure.

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It is the only ACT to be specifically indicated for the treatment of uncomplicated malaria caused bythe two main strains of malaria: P. falciparum and P. vivax.

Pyramax is also the first South Korean product included in the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) Model Lists of Essential Medicines for adults and children.

Pyramax® is in the form of tablets for adults and children weighing more than 20kgs and granules for children and infants between 5 and 20kgs.

Speaking at the launch at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Nairobi, Minnie Gitau, the Managing Director at Perspective Healthcare, described the launch as a significant moment both for the company, Shin Poon Pharma Co., Ltd and Kenya, which is seeking to establish Universal Healthcare.

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“At PerspectiveHealthCare, we share in the concerns by stakeholders and the government about the prevalence of malaria in Kenya despite the valiant efforts by everybody involved in the sector. We believe that with Pyramax, we have one more weapon in this fight,” said Ms.Gitau.

Malaria still remains a major public health problem in Kenya and accounts for an estimated 18 per cent of outpatient consultations and 10 per cent of hospital admissions based on data from the routine health information system.

“I am especially happy that we have a child-friendly version in the form of granules that are taste-masked and easily consumed as all you will need are two teaspoons of water with the granules taken once-daily for three days with or without food. Those of us who have suffered the devastation of malaria know how much of a relief a good, effective drug can be. Patients will also need to remember to take the full dose in order to achieve complete cure,” she added.

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The drug has been taken through pre-clinical studies and early clinical studies leading to four successful and important Phase III clinical trials with more than 3,500 patients in countries in sub-Saharan Africa, South East Asia and India.

It was also taken through and a large Phase IIIb/IV safety and efficacy study with patients from Mali, Burkina Faso and Guinea. The Phase IIIb/IV study was led by the West African Network for Clinical Trials of Antimalarial Drugs with funding from the European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership and Medicines for Malaria Venture.

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