By Julia Pastor, in Madrid | Thirteen big pharmaceutical companies, the small Spanish Chemo among them, have joined forces along with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in order to eradicate ten neglected tropical diseases. It is the major international partnership alliance performed to fight against this kind of affections, which, according to the World Health Organization, hit near 1,400 million people, particularly the most disadvantaged populations of tropical and subtropical regions.
Based in Madrid, Chemo is a multinacional with offices in more than 30 countries of four continents and participates in this Bill Gates’s international coalition through its Foundation Mundo Sano. The Spanish pharmaceutical will invest €5mn on the initiative until 2020.
Along with Chemo, renowned healthcare companies such as Pfizer, MSD, Johnson & Johnson, Bayer or Novartis are involved in the project, as well as the US, UK and the endemic countries’ governments, which have committed an overall amount of around $1bn to try control these diseases before 2020.
The agreement was signed in London during an event held in the Royal College of Scientists, and chaired by Bill Gates and Margaret Chan, general director of the World Health Organization. The Chemo Group was represented by its general director, Leandro Sigman, and Juan José de los Santos, coordinator for Mundo Sano in Spain. Regarding the agreement, Sigman has stated that
“Mundo Sano’s experience and vocation for aid in the field of neglected tropical diseases determines our team working, as well as our joining to the development of new medicines to treat those diseases”, while De los Santos has said that “the new financing commitments will give a complete support to the eradication of endemic siknesses like the dracunculiasis, lymphatic filariasis, trachoma, sleeping sickness and leprosy, and also to the control of onchocerciasis, the schistosomiasis, geohelmintiasis, the Chagas disease and the visceral leishmaniasis.”
During the alliance presentation in London, Bill Gates praised Leandro Sigman’s philanthropy labour, general director of Chemo.