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A roundup of developments in corporate social responsibility and sustainability from the bio/pharmaceutical industry, its suppliers, and other private and public organizations.
Abbott, the Abbott Fund, and PATH have formed a partnership to address malnutrition by advancing the rice fortification market in India. Abbott is providing a three-year, $1.5 million grant for refining and scaling up the production and distribution of fortified rise using PATH’s UltraRice fortification technology.
Bristol-Myers Squibb has formed a collaboration with the World Health Organization’s Stop TB Department for a two-year pilot initiative to strengthen community-based prevent and control of tuberculosis, including co-infection with HIV in South Africa, Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Eli Lilly contributed $12.3 million to the United Way, which represents contributions from Lilly’s US employees and retirees and a matching gift from the Lilly Foundation.
In other news, Eli Lilly committed $30 million in funding to further support the Lilly MDR-TB Partnership, which seeks to fight multidrug-resistant (MDR) tuberculosis (TB). The funding will be used to support a third and final stage of the partnership through 2016 that will focus on providing training for healthcare providers and improving supply and access to safe, effective, and quality-assured second-line drugs. The partnership will operate globally with a specific focus in China, India, Russia, and South Africa, the four countries with the highest burden of MDR-TB.
Eli Lilly also reported that it is improving its environmental footprint by achieving two of the company’s three environmental goals ahead of schedule. Through the end of 2010, the company reduced the amount of waster sent to landfills by about 50% and has reduced its water intake by more than 30%. The company is on track to meet its energy goals and has improved energy efficiency of its operations by almost 12% and reduced greenhouse-gas emissions by 9% through 2010.
GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) released results from a large-scale Phase II trial of RTS,S, a malaria vaccine candidate for children in Africa. The results showed that the vaccine reduced the risk of malaria by half in African children aged 5–17 months. The results were published in the New England Journal of Medicine. The vaccine is being developed in partnership with GSK, the PATH Malaria Vaccine Initiative, and African research centers. Further information about the longer-term protective effects of the vaccine, 30 months after the third dose, should be available by the end of 2014.
Johnson & Johnson’s Neutrogena brand reports the successful conclusion of its second annual wave Wave for Change campaign, a charitable effort that makes it easy for teenagers to give back in the US and other parts of the world. This year’s program generated a total of $258,000 for use in assistance in educational and environmental efforts.
The Prix Galien USA committee awarded its 2011 Pro Bono Humanum Award to Dr. Paul Farmer for his lifetime contribution of humanitarian efforts in Haiti and throughout the world and his efforts in advancing the fight against infectious diseases, including AIDS and tuberculosis.
The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) launched a new consortium with pharmaceutical companies and BIO Ventures for Global Health whereby public and private sector organizations share intellectual property and expertise with the global health research community to promote development of new drugs, vaccines, and diagnostics to treat neglected tropical diseases, malaria, and tuberculosis. Membership in the collaboration, WIPO Re:Search, as a user, provider, or supporter is open to all organizations that endorse, adhere to, and support the project’s guiding principles. These principles include the commitment that the intellectual property licensed via WIPO Re:Search will be licensed on a royalty-free basis for R&D on neglected tropical diseases in any country and on royalty-free basis for sale of neglected tropical disease medicines in, or to, least-developed countries. Pharmaceutical companies participating in the initiative include, Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, AstraZeneca, Eisai, GlaxoSmithKline, Merck & Co., Novartis, Pfizer, and Sanofi.