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Today on Capitol Hill: The Malaria Forum
Date:4/21/2009

- Interdisciplinary team of experts joins forces to discuss the latest tools to combat this preventable but deadly disease -

BRIDGEWATER, N.J., April 21 /PRNewswire/ -- Today on Capitol Hill Congressmen Don Payne and John Boozman, co-chairs of the Congressional Malaria Caucus, join global pharmaceutical company sanofi-aventis and the non-profit Drugs for Neglected Disease initiative (DNDi) to host the Malaria Forum. The Malaria Forum offers an important opportunity to gain insights on health initiatives and partnerships that are focused on combating this dreaded disease worldwide.

Every year, as many as one million people die from malaria and another 300-500 million suffer from it. Malaria remains the leading cause of death for children under the age of five in Africa, and kills one child every 30 seconds worldwide.

The sanofi-aventis group has been present in Africa for decades and extensively in countries affected by malaria. In 2001, the Impact Malaria initiative, the first program from the sanofi-aventis Access to Medicines team was created mobilizing the company's expertise and resources to fight diseases including malaria.

DNDi, an independent, non-profit pharmaceutical research and development (R&D) organization, has been involved in developing and making available needs-adapted treatments for a group of deadly neglected diseases traditionally ignored by market-driven mechanisms for drug development. Since its founding in 2003, DNDi has already developed and made available two antimalarial medicines while reaching out in partnership to those in the remotest areas in Africa as well as the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world.

Dr. Francois Bompart, who is part of the sanofi-aventis group's Access to Medicine team, will discuss the importance of educating communities, healthcare professionals and families about malaria and adapting medicines to meet patient needs. "Our mission is to bring together all of sanofi-aventis' expertise in order to provide patients in developing countries with access to medicines and vaccines for specific diseases, such as malaria. However, based on the knowledge that medicines alone cannot solve all problems we are also involved in education, information and prevention initiatives in these countries. We are deeply committed to our continued efforts in promoting better health for patients worldwide and to satisfy unmet healthcare needs."

Hellen Gelband, a malaria expert and member of the Board of Directors of DNDi North America, will discuss the impact and needs of patients with neglected diseases like malaria, with a focus on how the medicine, ASAQ (artesunate-amodiaquine)(1) was developed in partnership with sanofi-aventis. In addition, Ms. Gelband will discuss why various types of partners, from the public and private sectors, are critical in addressing the global health imbalance and how DNDi is utilizing a wide array of partnerships in its patient-driven drug development model, which is already delivering concrete benefits to patients in the form of two new malaria drugs in use in the field.

The Malaria Forum will take place on Tuesday, April 21 from 3:00 PM - 4:30 PM at 2200 Rayburn House Office Building. It is not open to the public.

(1) ASAQ is not approved in the U.S.

About sanofi-aventis

Sanofi-aventis is a leading global pharmaceutical company that discovers, develops and distributes therapeutic solutions to help improve the lives of patients and their families. Sanofi-aventis is listed in Paris (EURONEXT: SAN) and in New York (NYSE: SNY). Sanofi-aventis U.S. is a U.S. affiliate of sanofi-aventis. For more information, visit www.sanofi-aventis.us or www.sanofi-aventis.com

US.COR.09.04.024

    Contact:
    Elizabeth Baxter - sanofi-aventis, +1-908-981-5360
    elizabeth.baxter@sanofi-aventis.com


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SOURCE sanofi-aventis
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