Rectal artesunate suppositories launched for severe malaria in young children

TDR news item
27 July 2017

Cipla Ltd, a global pharmaceutical company, and MMV have announced the launch of 100 mg Artesunate Rectocaps/Rectal Artesunate Suppositories (RAS), a life-saving, pre-referral intervention for the management of severe malaria in young children.

Three African girls
Credit: Séverine Pillet

Initially developed by TDR, the treatment manufactured by Cipla was recently added to the Global Fund Expert Review Panel’s list of quality-assured medicines, while the process of the World Health Organization (WHO) prequalification of this medicine moves through its final stages. This authorization makes it the first quality-assured RAS product.

RAS is a critical intervention in the initial management of severe malaria in children who cannot take oral medications. It buys time while severely ill children are transported to health facilities where they can receive parenteral treatment. The WHO recommends RAS to prevent fatal complications of malaria in children. Sixteen countries have already included it in their treatment guidelines.

Umang Vohra, MD and Global CEO Cipla Ltd. said, “Cipla is committed to providing access to affordable medicines. Our endeavour is to make RAS 100 mg available in rural areas in Africa and to national community health programmes, notably with the support of international donors that have already pledged to procure Rectal Artesunate.”

“My congratulations to MMV and Cipla,” said TDR Director Reeder. “We are proud to have been able to initiate such an important project, and to have had such good partners to take this valuable product to the stage where children and their families can benefit from this research and development.”

Cipla’s RAS product contains 100 mg of artesunate and is indicated in children from 6 months to 6 years. It was developed with the support of MMV (with UNITAID financing) and will soon be available in 4 sub-Saharan countries.


For more information, contact:
Jamie Guth
TDR Communications Manager
Telephone: +41 79 441 2289
E-mail: guthj@who.int.