Transfer Rights for Treatment of Chagas Disease

Partnership Objectives

  1. Support Brazil’s efforts to reduce the impact of Chagas disease.
  2. Assist the Brazilian Government with local production of the treatment Benzonidazole.

With local manufacturing capabilities, the Brazilian Government can optimize the production of treatment for Chagas. With local manufacturing capabilities, the Brazilian Government can optimize the production of treatment for Chagas. Copyright Roche

What are the health needs and challenges?

Chagas (American trypanosomiasis) is a tropical disease that exists only in South America, affecting around 18 million people. In Brazil alone, 5 to 6 million people suffer from Chagas. The disease is caused by trypanosoma, a blood and cell parasite that is transmitted by an insect vector, and is potentially lethal. Chagas was identified by the World Health Organization as one of the 17 neglected tropical diseases needing eradication or elimination.

Benzonidazole is the most effective drug used to treat Chagas, a fact that has been recognized by the Pan-American Health Organization and the World Health Organization.

Description of partnership activities and how they address needs and challenges

To assist Brazil’s efforts to reduce the impact of Chagas disease, Roche donated the rights, trade data and knowledge and technical information to manufacture its medicine Benzonidazole to the Brazilian government. The technical transfer was completed in 2008.

Following Roche’s donation, the Brazilian government set up a manufacturing plant in the state of Acre in the Amazon region and started producing the finished drug with the know-how supplied by Roche. The organization manufacturing Benzonidazole is now known as the State Pharmaceutical Laboratory of Pernambuco (LAFEPE). Nortec Quimica is producing the active pharmaceutical ingredient. LAFEPE has received pre-qualification to export the medicine to comply with worldwide demand. The product is exported by an international distributor upon request.

With local manufacturing capabilities, the Brazilian Government can optimize the production and use of Benzonidazole within its current programs.

Partnership information

Company(ies) Roche

Partner(s) Brazilian Ministry of Health, Nortec Quimica, State Pharmaceutical Laboratory of Pernambuco

Type of Partner(s) Generic Manufacturers, Government

Therapeutic Focus Neglected Tropical Diseases

Disease(s) Chagas Disease

Program Type(s) Availability of Treatment - Product Donations, Availability of Treatment - Technology Transfer - Manufacturing and Entrepreneurial Know-How, Health System Infrastructure - Development of Physical Infrastructure, Health System Infrastructure - Training

Targeted Population(s) Children, Marginalised / Indigenous People, Mothers, People with low income, Women

Region(s) Latin America & Caribbean

Number of Countries 1

Country(ies) Brazil

Start Date 2003

More information Roche Developing Essential Medicines

Completed date 2015