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Adopt programme

Praziquantel is the drug of choice to treat schistosomiasis, but it is unsuitable for the treatment of pre-school aged children (under 5 years of age) due to its size and bitter taste. This leads to an estimated 50 million children currently going untreated.

Addressing the medical needs of preschool-aged children

Praziquantel is the drug of choice to treat schistosomiasis, but it is unsuitable for the treatment of pre-school aged children (under 5 years of age) due to its size and bitter taste. This leads to an estimated 50 million children currently going untreated.

The Pediatric Praziquantel Consortium

The Pediatric Praziquantel Consortium (PPC) was founded in 2012 as the first international not-for-profit partnership that aims to reduce the global disease burden of schistosomiasis by addressing the medical need of infected preschool-aged children.

It aims to develop, register and provide access to a suitable pediatric treatment option for pre-school children affected by schistosomiasis. The new formulation is small, has an acceptable taste and can withstand the challenges presented by warm weather, thus enabling access by children currently not receiving treatment.

The Consortium is divided into two core teams:

  • The Development Team led by pharmaceutical company Merck focusing on the research and development, regulatory and manufacturing.
  • The Access Team led by Unlimit Health and Swiss TPH focusing on ensuring access and delivery of the new pediatric formulation in endemic countries.

The Consortium partners have been awarded two implementation research grants by the European & Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP) and the Global Health Innovative Technology Fund (GHIT). The implementation research program aims to introduce the new pediatric formulation that will be crucial to getting treatments to those in need.

ADOPT programme objectives

  • Prepare the introduction of the new pediatric formulation into endemic communities: This effort is based on the engagement of key partners, and includes a set of strategic studies on feasibility and cost-effectiveness to ensure equitable access to treatment in Kenya, Côte d’Ivoire and Uganda.
  • Work with key partners and engage relevant stakeholders: This will contribute to the revision of related policies and guidelines for schistosomiasis treatments and ensure pre-school aged children are included. The Consortium aims for the formulation to be available for small-scale piloting in Kenya, Côte d’Ivoire and Uganda by end of 2024.
  • Sustainable impact on people’s health in low- and middle-income countries: With the 2030 UN Sustainable Development Agenda in mind, the Pediatric Praziquantel Consortium is a prime example of a multi-stakeholder partnership bringing together governments, the public & private sectors and civil society (SDG17) that aims to ensure healthy lives and promoting well-being to all ages (SDG3).

Treatment status

In May 2024, The World Health Organisation (WHO) added the PPC’s new treatment option to its list of prequalified medicines. The WHO Prequalification Process (PQP) provides an assessment of the quality, safety, and efficacy of medicinal products and is used by international procurement agencies and increasingly by countries to guide the bulk purchasing of medicines.

The WHO prequalification of the PPC’s new pediatric treatment option aims to support its adoption in endemic countries and facilitate equitable and sustainable access. This highly positive development brings the new treatment one step closer to young patients in need.


Countries: Kenya, Côte d’Ivoire, Uganda

Implementing partners: Astellas, AIHD, Farmanguinhos, KEMRI, Lygature, Merck,  Ministries of Health (CIV, Kenya & Uganda), Makerere University, Swiss TPH, TUM, UFHB and Unlimit Health

Funders: EDCTP is a public-public partnership between countries in Europe and sub-Saharan Africa, supported by the European Union.

GHIT Fund is an international public-private partnership between the Government of Japan (Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare), seven Japanese pharmaceutical and diagnostics companies (Astellas, Chugai, Eisai, Daiichi Sankyo, Shionogi, Sysmex and Takeda), the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Wellcome Trust, and United Nations Development Programme.

Total project value: €5.7 million from EDCTP and €2.1 million from GHIT Fund.

Timescale: 2021-2025 (EDCTP), 2021-2023 (GHIT Fund)

Pediatric praziquantel in the news

Unlimit Health continues commitment to supporting paediatric treatment against schistosomiasis

Following the recent European Medicines Agency (EMA) positive scientific opinion for arpraziquantel to treat schistosomiasis in preschool-aged children, Unlimit Health reaffirms its commitment to supporting paediatric treatment against this parasitic infection.

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European Medicines Agency recommends Arpraziquantel for treatment of schistosomiasis in preschool-aged children

Today, the Pediatric Praziquantel Consortium announced that the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) adopted a positive scientific opinion for arpraziquantel to treat the neglected tropical disease, schistosomiasis, in preschool-aged children (3 months to 6 years of age).

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The path to success for uptake of new treatment among infants

I started collaborating with the Ministry of Health in Kenya in 2021 as part of the ADOPT research project. The project is led by the Pediatric Praziquantel Consortium (PPC), of which SCI Foundation is a member.

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