Working Together to Find Innovative Medical Solutions for the Developing World
At Celgene, we believe patients should have the opportunity, regardless of their location or financial resources, to benefit from advances in prevention, diagnosis and treatment of disease. Celgene Global Health (CGH) collaborates with partners around the globe to find innovative solutions for healthcare challenges in the developing world. Founded in 2009, CGH focuses on delivering our promise to put patients first through the pursuit of innovative solutions to healthcare challenges in the developing world. This work is based on our belief that innovative therapies and healthcare partnerships are essential components to long-term progress and prosperity around the globe.
Celgene has more than 400,000 compounds in our library across multiple platforms including immunomodulation, cell inhibition and cellular/tissue therapies. These platforms have potential applications to treat neglected diseases of the developing world (DDW) such as:
- Visceral Leishmaniasis (VL)
- Human African Trypanosomiasis (HAT)
- Chagas Disease
- Lymphatic Filariasis
- Hemorrhagic Fevers
- Kaposi Sarcoma
These diseases affect the most impoverished around the world. CGH is collaborating with Product Development Partnerships (PDPs), global academic institutions, non-government organizations (NGOs), public/private funding organizations, contract research organizations (CROs), and other pharmaceutical organizations to evaluate our proprietary compounds for activity in neglected diseases. There are a number of CGH programs that are in various stages of development. These programs range from screening to lead optimization to clinical trials including animal testing to provide an opportunity for CGH to explore and develop its library of proprietary assets.
An example of these programs is a discovery and development collaboration with Advinus Therapeutics Ltd that focuses on therapies for VL, the second largest parasitic killer in the world, with an estimated 500,000 cases each year. The collaboration was formed to address patient needs that are not met with the current treatments available and highlights the experience and expertise of both organizations including analytical chemistry, discovery biology, screening and formulation. The partnership reaffirms the commitment of CGH and Advinus to develop therapies to treat neglected diseases. CGH is also committed to providing support to enhance the infrastructure and capability of health systems and local medical experts in the developing world to expand access to safe and effective medicines. Building on this commitment to putting patient safety first, CGH is exploring models to enhance existing health system infrastructures in the developing world and to support expanded safe access.
During the past several years, CGH has been working with the Indiana University School of Medicine and Moi University Teaching and Referral Hospital in Eldoret, Kenya. Since 1989, Moi University School of Medicine, Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital and a consortium of North American academic health centers led by Indiana University have worked together to deliver health services, conduct health research, and develop leaders in health care for both North America and Africa. The institutional partners are collectively named the Academic Model Providing Access to Healthcare (AMPATH). In 2001, in the face of the deadliest pandemic in human history, the partners joined forces to create one of Africa’s largest, most comprehensive and effective HIV/AIDS control systems. Today, in partnership with the Kenyan Ministry of Health and the United States Government, AMPATH is expanding from an HIV focus to address critical needs for primary healthcare, chronic disease care and specialty care. CGH is providing support to AMPATH within their oncology program in the areas of patient/drug information, patient care, pharmacy database expansion and pharmacy rendering.
In a similar program, CGH is providing support to the University of Colorado (CU). Under the auspices of the Colorado School of Public Health (CSPH), the Center for Global Health at CU has built valuable relationships with universities and clinics in several low and middle income settings including Peru, Guatemala, Vietnam and Indonesia. These relationships will enable health professionals from these developing countries to participate in Global Health Fellowships at the Anschultz Medical Campus at CU. Through these fellowships, which range from a month to a semester, budding investigators will gain targeted mentoring and hands-on experience unavailable in their home countries. Center for Global Health Director, Steve Berman says, “An investigator might come to gain expertise in bioinformatics and bring that training back to inform researchers on important public health issues in their own countries.” “Celgene really stepped up, they have been terrific,” Berman says. “For those who are able to come over and benefit, it will have a great impact.”
This work in improving access to medicines is based on a belief that the most successful approaches will come from public-private partnerships, collaboration with local experts and sharing best practices.