• Blog Post

Global Health Institute contributing to the definition of upcoming Target Product

Publish Date

28 NOV 2018


In October 2018, an Expert Meeting, organized by the World Health Organization (WHO), was held in Geneva to establish the new target product profiles for sensitive schistosomiasis diagnostics to address the control and elimination strategies currently in place.

Global Health Institute contributing to the definition of upcoming Target Product profiles for new Schistosomiasis Diagnostics together with key experts and the World Health Organization

Diagnostics are essential tools to reach elimination of schistosomiasis. Prevention of transmission and control of morbidity due to this neglected tropical disease (NTD) can only happen if adequate high sensitivity diagnostic methods are made available to endemic countries.

The strategic and expert meeting held in October at WHO (Geneva) has been the opportunity to assess the importance of diagnostics in the fight against schistosomiasis. Beatrice Greco (Head of R&D -Access, Global Health Institute) represented Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, during this critical discussion and contributed to the set-up of strategic goals and objectives around the need of a next generation of diagnostics for schistosomiasis. The review allowed to align on the definition of a Target Product Profile (TPP) to drive the development of the new tools. These diagnostics are developed to improve treatment coverage with the current mass drug administration (MDA) and with the upcoming pediatric formulation of praziquantel. These tools shall also be affordable and easy-to-use for optimal deployment.

Through the Global Health Institute, Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, will continue to play an important role in exploring development of new schistosomiasis diagnostics as well as new schisto-infection biomarkers for better detection. In the context of the ongoing ‘One Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, for Schistosomiasis’ program, these activities are critical to the Company’s contribution into the elimination of schistosomiasis as a public health burden by 2025.