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Mahidol University signed an agreement with Pharco Corporation to bring an innovative & life-saving therapy to eradicate hepatitis C viral infection in Thailand

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Since 20 March 2024  

On Wednesday March 20, 2024, Mahidol University signed an agreement with Pharco Corporation to bring an innovative and life-saving therapy to eradicate hepatitis C viral infection in Thailand. 

In the South-East Asia and Western Pacific regions, an estimated 20 million people are chronically infected with HCV. In Thailand, an estimated 500,000 - 800,000 people are living with hepatitis C, amounting to 1-1.5% of the population. An ambitious goal has been set by the Ministry of Public Health to eradicate hepatitis C (HCV) in 2030 by addressing persistent barriers in access to life-saving treatments and diagnostics.

HCV is known as a ‘silent killer’ because 80% of people living with the disease remain asymptomatic for years, before developing complications that can include liver disease, cirrhosis, and cancer. Although an estimated 300,000 people die from HCV every year, only a small fraction of people with the disease receive treatment. Early diagnosis and initiation of treatment is crucial towards preventing health problems as a result from infection and also to avoid transmission of the virus. Among available treatments, an innovative drug called “ravidasvir” has recently been developed through partnerships of various middle-income countries and support from the Drugs for Neglected Disease Initiative (DNDi).

Through this unique partnership, Ravidasvir has been tested and shown to be very effective and safe in treating hepatitis C infection with cure rate of over 95%. However, ravidasvir is currently not available in Thailand. Therefore, Mahidol University, Pharco and DNDi are determined to bring this life saving drug to the hands of Thai patients suffering from hepatitis C infection.

The signing ceremony of “Collaborative & License Agreement” was held at the Faculty of Pharmacy, Mahidol University at Room 606, Rajaratana Building. The signers of this agreement included the followings. 
1) Professor Banchong Mahaisavariya, M.D., President, Mahidol University 
2) Dr. Sherine Hassan Abbas Helmy, Chairman of the Board Director, Pharco Corporation
3) Dr. Yasser Mohamed Hassan Fayed, Corporate Business Development Director, Pharco
4) Mr. Daisuke Imoto, Business Development Director, DNDi Global
5) Mr. Jean-Michel Piedagnel, Director of the South-East Asia Office, DNDi

All parties were blessed with the presence of H.E. Mrs. Hala Youssef Ahmed Ragab, Ambassador of the Arab Republic of Egypt to the Kingdom of Thailand, and Mr. Sek Nopthaisong, Deputy Director-General of the Department of South Asian, Middle East and African Affairs, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. 

Guests of honors included Dr. Nicholas Durier, Dreamlopments Social Enterprise and Foundation, Assoc. Prof. Chuthamanee Suthisisang, Director of the ASEAN Institute for Health Developement, Mahidol University, Asst. Prof. Dr. Suwimon Niyomnaitham, Deputy Director of Siriraj Clinical Research Center (SICRES) to name a few. After the completion of the ceremony, the administrators of Pharco Corporation and DNDi visited the C-FREE project, managed by Dr. Nicholas Durier, Dreamlopments Social Enterprise and Foundation to observe the current practice and management of hepatitis C infection among neglected groups of patients. 

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