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News Article | September 21, 2017

Through this joint-EWEC-commitment, Safaricom, Huawei, Philips, MSD, Unilever and GSK pledged support to complement on-going efforts of UNFPA to significantly improve maternal health in the 6 counties (Migori, Mandera, Marsabit, Wajir, Isiolo, Lamu) of Kenya accounting for close to 50% of all maternal deaths, and improve by 2020 the health and well-being of 3.5 million people in these counties. UNFPA and Kenya Healthcare Federation (KHF) have been mandated to convene and coordinate partners in meeting their commitment and established website and secretariat for the partnership. The partnership harnesses the talent, expertise, technology, and resources of the private sector, in alignment with the Global Financing Facility and close collaboration with the Government of Kenya, the County Governments of the 6 Counties and other partners. Through its collective action partners help build models that offer the best of both public and private sector, with the potential for scaling-up the delivery of healthcare for vulnerable and poor populations in low-resource settings. PSHP Kenya is open to all private sector companies and organizations both international and national, who want to partner and demonstrate action within the 6 counties and support partners in achieving their mission. Unilever joins PSHP Kenya Unilever is one of the world's leading suppliers of Food, Home Care, Personal Care and Refreshment products with sales in over 190 countries and reaching 2.5 billion consumers a day. Unilever's Sustainable Living Plan underpins the company's strategy and commits to helping more than a billion people take action to improve their health and well-being by 2020. Unilever has been working on a number of initiatives in Kenya including with UNFPA and Amref on a Maternal and Newborn Health and Hygiene project in Migori, one of the six counties PSHP Kenya is focusing its work on. This partnership and project also features in Unilever's #HeroesForChange programme. Other Unilever initiatives in Kenya include nutrition and oral health programs. Myriam Sidibe, Unilever Africa Social Mission Director noted that "Unilever already aligns with PSHP Kenya's goal and shares a common agenda; we are looking forward to working closely with the other PSHP Kenya partners to expand our current program's impact and together drive new initiatives and progress towards improving maternal and newborn health and hygiene." Since its announcement in September 2015 by Bob Collymore, CEO of Safaricom, efforts have begun to bring real results. With the support also of the World Economic Forum, partners have engaged with over 100 leaders from public and private sector and unlocked $3 million private financing in finding shared-value business solutions for leapfrogging the health systems within the six counties. A Community Life Center (CLC) has been established in Mandera County with support of the Ministry of Health, County Government, Philips and UNFPA, serving a catchment area of 40,000 people aiming to demonstrate that maternal, newborn and child health can be improved through Public Private Partnership and innovation, even in the most difficult conditions. When successful Philips will be able to scale-up this venture to many more areas serving larger communities. At the event Philips Kenya and the Philips Foundation announced a new initiative in Wajir to help strengthen the counties community health structures by testing a mobile obstetric monitoring solution and providing Outreach Kits which would empower community health workers in early detection of high-risk pregnancies and enable timely referral to appropriate levels of care. MSD / Merck is investing USD 1.5 million in designing and testing innovative approaches to Adolescent and Youth Sexual and Reproductive Health service delivery in Migori and Mandera in support of the hundred thousands' of adolescent and youth living within those counties. In Mandera, the initiative targets the CLC to build on and complement PSHP Kenya partner's efforts. Safaricom and Huawei have started to pool their unique expertise and services in IT and mobile connectivity to design and test transformational digital health solutions in Lamu County connecting all primary clinics with their referral facilities and hospitals aiming to serve the entire population in the County. Video conference facilities enable remote specialized consultations for patients and medical education for medical staff. Senior Public Affairs Director for Huawei Kenya, Adam Lane, noted that "Frequently the time and financial costs are so high to travel to see specialists that half of patients who need referrals for non-emergencies are put off and do not go for their referrals." Building on the experience from the partnerships' first two years of operations and strong progress, the partners are developing a new Masterplan to enhance their governance structure, and expand the scope and scale of PSHP Kenya activities, with the aim to accelerate progress. The Masterplan lays out the establishment of a CEO steering committee to drive high-level leadership; a technical advisory committee to tap into the wealth of expertise and knowledge within the Country; and enhanced dialogue with the national and county governments to strengthen Public Private Collaboration and blending of public and private financing in order to optimize resource mobilization and utilization. The partners will work closely together to focus on 5 main activities: Dr Amit Thakker, Chairman of the Kenya, and Africa Healthcare Federations said: "This novel partnership has already demonstrated the power of collaboration for advancing health and wellbeing in some of Kenya's poorest and most remote areas. We now want to scale up its activities and impacts on the ground. We hope that it may inspire others - to also achieve great things working together." Dr Olajide Ademola, UNFPA Country Representative to Kenya, stated, "The partnership is delighted to make these announcements today in support of the United Nations' Every Woman Every Child initiative and looks forward to making further progress in these and other projects in the future, bringing on board more private sector partners, and driving public-private partnerships in Kenya to improve maternal and newborn health." Further information on the partnership and the partners is available at: About the Kenya Healthcare Federation Kenya Healthcare Federation (KHF) is the health sector board of the Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA). Founded in 2004, the Federation represents and works with private healthcare providers, hospitals, pharmaceutical manufacturers and insurers to create an enabling environment that supports quality and affordable healthcare for all. KHF is dedicated to engaging the government and all relevant stakeholders in achieving this by maximizing the contribution of the private sector and to champion constructive Public-Private Partnerships for better healthcare by networking, engaging and representing and through win-win negotiations. About UNFPA, the United Nations Populations Fund UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, is an international development agency that delivers a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every birth is safe and every young person's potential is fulfilled. UNFPA partners with governments, other agencies and civil society organizations to advance this mission. UNFPA was established in Kenya in 1972. In the last 35 years, UNFPA Kenya has responded to the priority needs of the Government of Kenya. About GlaxoSmithKline  GSK (GlaxoSmithKline) is a science-led global healthcare company. GSK works to widening access to their products, so more people can benefit, no matter where they live in the world or what they can afford to pay. By delivering a sustainable business, GSK provide health benefits to patients and consumers, improved shareholder returns as well as supporting wider society. About Huawei Huawei is a leading global information and communications technology (ICT) solutions provider. Our aim is to enrich life and improve efficiency through a better connected world, acting as a responsible corporate citizen, innovative enabler for the information society, and collaborative contributor to the industry. Driven by customer-centric innovation and open partnerships, Huawei has established an end-to-end ICT solutions portfolio that gives customers competitive advantages in telecom and enterprise networks, devices and cloud computing. Huawei's 170,000 employees worldwide are committed to creating maximum value for telecom operators, enterprises and consumers. Our innovative ICT solutions, products and services are used in more than 170 countries and regions, serving over one-third of the world's population. Founded in 1987, Huawei is a private company fully owned by its employees. For more information, please visit Huawei online at About MSD Merck, Sharp & Dohme (MSD)* (* known as Merck in the USA & Canada) MSD is an innovative, global healthcare leader committed to improving health and well-being of people around the world.We demonstrate our commitment to increasing access to healthcare through far-reaching policies, programmes and partnerships to help people around the world lead healthier lives. At the heart of MSD's access to health and corporate responsibility approach in Sub-Saharan Africa is a commitment to discover, develop and provide innovative products and services that save and improve lives while growing our business in a sustainable way. Our goal is to sustain and improve the quality of life and health for individuals, families, communities and countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. About Philips  Royal Philips is a diversified health and well-being company, focused on improving people's lives through meaningful innovation in the areas of Healthcare, Consumer Lifestyle and Lighting. Headquartered in the Netherlands, Philips posted 2014 sales of EUR 21.4 billion and employs approximately 104,000 employees with sales and services in more than 100 countries. The company is a leader in cardiac care, acute care and home healthcare, energy efficient lighting solutions and new lighting applications, as well as male shaving and grooming and oral healthcare. News from Philips is located at About Safaricom  Safaricom is the biggest communication company in East and Central Africa, Safaricom delights over 25.1 million subscribers, providing over 200,000 touch points for its customers and offering over 100 different products under its portfolio. Safaricom is dedicated to transforming the lives of customers, communities and colleagues. They work collaboratively with partners to positively impact the lives across the country and beyond. About Unilever Unilever is one of the world's leading suppliers of Food, Home Care, Personal Care and Refreshment products with sales in over 190 countries and reaching 2.5 billion consumers a day. It has 169,000 employees and generated sales of €52.7 billion in 2016. Over half (57%) of the company's footprint is in developing and emerging markets. Unilever has more than 400 brands found in homes all over the world, including Persil, Dove, Knorr, Domestos, Hellmann's, Lipton, Wall's, PG Tips, Ben & Jerry's, Magnum and Lynx. All media inquiries can be sent to the following contact and will be routed to the appropriate partner.

Jardemark K.,Karolinska Institutet | Marcus M.M.,Karolinska Institutet | Shahid M.,MSD | Svensson T.H.,Karolinska Institutet
Synapse | Year: 2010

Asenapine is a novel psychopharmacologic agent being developed for schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Like clozapine, asenapine facilitates cortical dopaminergic and N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor-mediated transmission in rats. The facilitation of NMDA-induced currents in cortical pyramidal cells by clozapine is dependent on dopamine and D 1 receptor activation. Moreover, previous results show that clozapine prevents and reverses the blockade of NMDA-induced currents and firing activity in the pyramidal cells by the noncompetitive NMDA receptor antagonist phencyclidine (PCP). Here, we investigated the effects of asenapine in these regards using intracellular electrophysiological recording in vitro. Asenapine (5 nM) significantly facilitated NMDA-induced currents (162 ± 15% of control) in pyramidal cells of the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC). The asenapine-induced facilitation was blocked by the D 1 receptor antagonist SCH23390 (1 μM). Furthermore, the PCP-induced blockade of cortical NMDA-induced currents was effectively reversed by 5 nM asenapine. Our results demonstrate a clozapine-like facilitation of cortical NMDA-induced currents by asenapine that involves prefrontal dopamine and activation of D 1 receptors. Asenapine and clozapine also share the ability to reverse functional PCP-induced hypoactivity of cortical NMDA receptors. The ability of asenapine to increase both cortical dopaminergic and NMDA receptor-mediated glutamatergic transmission suggests that this drug may have an advantageous effect not only on positive symptoms in patients with schizophrenia, but also on negative and cognitive symptoms. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

Harvey B.H.,North West University South Africa | Shahid M.,MSD
Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior | Year: 2012

Anxiety disorders are amongst the most common and disabling of psychiatric illnesses and have severe health and socio-economic implications. Despite the availability of a number of treatment options there is still a strong medical need for novel and improved pharmacological approaches in treating these disorders. New developments at the forefront of preclinical research have begun to identify the therapeutic potential of molecular entities integral to the biological response to adversity, particularly molecules and processes that may pre-determine vulnerability or resilience, and those that may act to switch off or "unlearn" a response to an aversive event. The glutamate system is an interesting target in this respect, especially given the impact anxiety disorders have on neuroplasticity, cognition and affective function. These areas of research demonstrate expanding and improved evidence-based options for treating disorders where stress in various guises plays an important etiological role. The current review will discuss how these pathways are involved in fear circuitry of the brain and compare the strength of therapeutic rationale as well as progress towards pharmacological validation of the glutamate pathway towards the treatment of anxiety disorders, with a particular focus on metabotropic and ionotropic glutamate receptors. Specific reference to their anxiolytic actions and efficacy in translational disease models of posttraumatic stress disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorder and phobia will be made. In addition, the availability of ligands necessary to assist clinical proof of concept studies will be discussed. © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Harker W.R.R.,University of Bath | Carswell E.L.,MSD | Carbery D.R.,University of Bath
Organic and Biomolecular Chemistry | Year: 2012

α-Alkyl β-amino esters are available in high diastereoselectivity through a silicon-free Claisen enolate [3,3]-sigmatropic rearrangement of enamide esters. Optimisation studies have probed the crucial role of the initial enolisation and the nature of the enamide N-centre. The demonstration of chirality transfer and the formation of β-proline systems, is also presented. © 2012 The Royal Society of Chemistry.

Harker W.R.R.,University of Bath | Carswell E.L.,MSD | Carbery D.R.,University of Bath
Organic Letters | Year: 2010

The E/Z-selectivity in the formation of silylketene acetals derived from phenylacetate esters, mediated by LiHMDS, has been studied by in situ NMR techniques. The formation is seen to be highly E-selective with use of the newly developed protocol. Isolated aryl-substituted silylketene acetals are now attainable with high levels of E-geometrical purity in excellent yield. © 2010 American Chemical Society.

Fatemi H.M.,Universitair Ziekenhuis Brussel | Doody K.,Center for Assisted Reproduction | Griesinger G.,University of Lübeck | Witjes H.,MSD | Mannaerts B.,MSD
Human Reproduction | Year: 2013

Study Question Is the ovarian response to controlled ovarian stimulation (COS) related to the ongoing pregnancy rate when taking into account the main covariates affecting the probabilities of pregnancy following fresh embryo transfer? Summary Answer In patients treated with corifollitropin alfa or daily recombinant FSH (rFSH) in a GnRH-antagonist protocol, a high ovarian response did not compromise ongoing pregnancy rates and increased cumulative pregnancy rates following fresh and frozen-thawed embryo transfer.WHAT IS KNOWN AND WHAT THIS PAPER ADDSA strong association between the number of oocytes and pregnancy rates has been described but this is the first comprehensive analysis assessing important confounders that might affect pregnancy rates. Study Design In a large, prospective, double-blind, randomized trial (Engage; n = 1506), patients were treated with either a single dose of 150 μg corifollitropin alfa or daily 200 IU rFSH for the first 7 days of COS in a GnRH-antagonist (ganirelix) protocol. In this retrospective analysis, patients were categorized into five groups according to the number of oocytes retrieved (0-5, 6-9, 10-13, 14-18 and >18 oocytes). The number of good-quality embryos obtained and transferred, as well as the ongoing pregnancy rates, live birth rates and cumulative ongoing pregnancy rates per started cycle by group were evaluated. Univariate analysis was performed to identify factors that predict the chance of ongoing pregnancy. Logistic regression analysis on the dependent variables ongoing pregnancy and cumulative ongoing pregnancy, respectively, including oocyte category as an independent factor in the model, was performed by treatment group (corifollitropin alfa and rFSH) and overall. The likelihood of ongoing pregnancy and cumulative ongoing pregnancy was then evaluated taking into account ovarian response as well as other identified significant predictors of success.PARTICIPANTS AND SETTINGIn total, 1506 patients had been randomized in a ratio of 1:1 to either of the treatment groups. Patients were aged ≤36 years and had a body weight >60 kg. Main Results and the Role of Chance The ongoing pregnancy rates per started cycle increased in the corifollitropin alfa and rFSH groups from 31.9 and 31.3%, respectively, in the lowest response group (0-5 oocytes) to 41.9 and 43.4% in the highest response group (>18 oocytes) with a significant linear trend (P = 0.04). The cumulative pregnancy rates taking frozen-thawed embryo transfers into account increased from 33.0 and 31.3% to 60.8 and 55.9% in the corifollitropin alfa and rFSH groups, respectively. Univariate logistic regression analyses of ongoing pregnancy showed significant effects for the following factors: embryo transfer (double or single, P < 0.01), region of treatment (North America or Europe, P < 0.01), progesterone level on the day of hCG (>1.5 or ≤1.5 ng/ml, P < 0.01), start day of the stimulation (cycle day 2 or 3, P = 0.02) and age (P = 0.04). Logistic regression analysis of ongoing pregnancy using 10-13 oocytes as the reference category, per treatment group and overall revealed estimated odds ratios (OR) close to 1.0 versus the reference, without statistically significant differences with and without adjustment for significant predictive factors affecting pregnancy rates. Unadjusted OR for cumulative pregnancy reflected significantly lower odds of pregnancy for the lowest response group and significantly higher odds of pregnancy for the highest response group in comparison with the reference. When adjusted for the predictive factors, the cumulative ongoing pregnancy OR (95% confidence interval) of the highest response group versus the reference group was 1.87 (1.34-2.59) when the data of both treatment groups were pooled.BIAS, CONFOUNDING AND OTHER REASONS FOR CAUTIONThe number of covariates included in the final model was limited to five major factors and not all other potentially significant predictive factors were available for evaluation.GENERALIZABILITY TO OTHER POPULATIONSThis analysis is limited to IVF patients with a regular menstrual cycle up to 36 years of age and a body weight >60 and ≤90 kg treated with a GnRH-antagonist protocol and cannot be extrapolated to other patient populations or treatment regimens. Study Funding/Competing Interest (S)Financial support for this study was provided by Merck, Sharp & Dohme Corp., a subsidiary of Merck & Co. Inc, Whitehouse Station, NJ, USA. Medical writing and editorial assistance was provided by P. Milner, PhD, of PAREXEL, UK. This assistance was funded by Merck, Sharp & Dohme Corp., a subsidiary of Merck & Co. Inc., Whitehouse Station, NJ. Author conflicts of interest are as follows: H.F. has received honorarium for expert meeting with MSD, lectures for various companies; K.D. has received consultancy fees for Ferring and TEVA Pharmaceutical, payment for lectures and speaker bureaus for Ferring and Watson Pharmaceutical; G.G. has received honoraria as speaker, and served as advisory board member for Ferring, Merck Serono, MSD and IBSA. He has received travel grants from Merck Serono, MSD and grants from Ferring and Merck Serono; H.W. and B.M. are employees of MSD. Trial Registration Numberntc00696800. © 2012 The Author.

Laurent-Ledru V.,MSD | Thomson A.,Sanofi S.A. | Monsonego J.,Women Against Cervical Cancer
Vaccine | Year: 2011

The vaccinology landscape has changed, with national authorities now being increasingly accountable to new stakeholders such as health insurers, regional regulatory bodies, the media, and civil society. Here, we discuss how civil society organisations (CSOs), such as patient and women's groups, have become important drivers in the introduction and sustainability of new vaccination programs. This shift in public implication in vaccine policy has been well illustrated in the recent introduction of human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination in Europe. Patient and women's groups which were traditionally focused on advocacy of treatments have also become advocates for prevention with the advent of HPV vaccination. Civil society advocacy at the European level supported key resolutions and white papers which in turn informed national recommendations on cervical cancer vaccination. CSOs were also active at the national level, supporting national policy makers. These organisations may bring innovative and effective new approaches to communication on vaccination benefits, using public events, celebrities and various social media. Working with experts, CSOs can also be an important bridge from the science to the lay public. This may provide a vital counterbalance to media hype and antivaccination groups, although CSOs may also be active and vocal opponents of immunization. The successful implementation and sustainability of future vaccination programs against infections such as HIV will be dependent upon the active participation of civil society to inform, to reassure and to maintain public trust. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.

Vroling B.,Radboud University Nijmegen | Sanders M.,MSD | Baakman C.,Radboud University Nijmegen | Borrmann A.,Radboud University Nijmegen | And 5 more authors.
Nucleic Acids Research | Year: 2011

The GPCRDB is a Molecular Class-Specific Information System (MCSIS) that collects, combines, validates and disseminates large amounts of heterogeneous data on G proteincoupled receptors (GPCRs). The GPCRDB contains experimental data on sequences, ligand-binding constants, mutations and oligomers, as well as many different types of computationally derived data such as multiple sequence alignments and homology models. The GPCRDB provides access to the data via a number of different access methods. It offers visualization and analysis tools, and a number of query systems. The data is updated automatically on a monthly basis. The GPCRDB can be found online at http://www.gpcr .org/7tm/. © The Author(s) 2010.

Broekmans F.J.,University Utrecht | Verweij P.J.M.,MSD | Eijkemans M.J.C.,University Utrecht | Mannaerts B.M.J.L.,MSD | Witjes H.,MSD
Human Reproduction | Year: 2014

study question: Can predictors of low and high ovarian responses be identified in patients undergoing controlled ovarian stimulation (COS) in a GnRH antagonist protocol? summaryanswer: Common prognostic factors for high and low ovarian responses were female age, antral follicle count (AFC) and basal serum FSH and LH. what is known already: Predictors of ovarian response have been identified in GnRH agonist protocols.With the introduction of GnRH antagonists to prevent premature LH rises during COS, and the gradual shift in use of long GnRH agonist to short GnRH antagonist protocols, there is a need for data on the predictability of ovarian response in GnRH antagonist cycles. study design, size, duration: A retrospective analysis of data from the Engage trial and validation with the Xpect trial. Prognostic models were constructed for high (>18 oocytes retrieved) and low (<6 oocytes retrieved) ovarian response. Model building was based on the recombinant FSH (rFSH) arm (n = 747) of the Engage trial. Multivariable logistic regression models were constructed in a stepwise fashion (P < 0.15 for entry). Validation based on calibration was performed in patients with equivalent treatment (n = 199) in the Xpect trial. participants/materials, setting, methods: Infertilewomen with an indication forCOSprior to IVF. The Engage and Xpect trials included patients of similar ethnic origins from North America and Europe who had regular menstrual cycles. The main causes of infertility were male factor, tubal factor and endometriosis. main results and the role of chance: In the Engage trial, 18.3% of patients had a high and 12.7% had a low ovarian response. Age, AFC, serum FSH and serum LH at stimulation Day 1 were prognostic for both high and low ovarian responses. Higher AFC and LH were associated with an increased chance of high ovarian response. Older age and higher FSH correlated with an increased chance of low ovarian response. Region (North America/Europe) and BMI were prognostic for high ovarian response, and serum estradiol at stimulation Day 1 was associated with low ovarian response. The area under the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve (AUC) for the model for a high ovarian response was 0.82. Sensitivity and specificity were 0.82 and 0.73; positive and negative predictive values were 0.40 and 0.95, respectively. The AUC for the model for a low ovarian response was 0.80. Sensitivity and specificity were 0.77 and 0.73, respectively; positive and negative predictive valueswere 0.29 and 0.96, respectively. In Xpect, 19.1% of patients were high ovarian responders and 16.1% were lowovarian responders. The slope of the calibration linewas 0.81 and 1.35 for high and lowovarian responses, respectively, both not statistically different from 1.0. In summary,commonprognostic factors for high and low ovarian responses were female age,AFCand basal serum FSHand LH. Simple multivariable models are presented that are able to predict both a too low or too high ovarian response in patients treated with a GnRH antagonist protocol and daily rFSH. limitations, reasons for caution: Anti-Müllerian hormone was not included in the prediction modelling. wider implications of the findings: The findings will help with the identification of patients at risk of a too high or too lowovarian response and individualization of COS treatment. © The Author 2014.

Kerr W.J.,University of Strathclyde | Morrison A.J.,MSD | Pazicky M.,University of Strathclyde | Weber T.,University of Strathclyde
Organic Letters | Year: 2012

Bismesitylmagnesium has been shown to successfully mediate the Shapiro reaction. A range of tosylhydrazones has been subjected to the developed system, which furnishes exceptionally high incorporation of the introduced electrophiles and good yields of the functionalized styrenes. At conveniently accessible temperatures and with a comparably small excess of base reagent, this protocol offers an efficient alternative to the lithium-mediated process. Importantly, 1.05 equiv of Weinreb amides are sufficient to obtain aryl enones in good yields. © 2012 American Chemical Society.

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