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J&J has a nearly 20-year legacy of accelerating the fight against NTDs. We have endorsed the Kigali Declaration on NTDs, pledging to continue the mebendazole donation program and to advance novel R&D programs to discover new medicines needed to beat diseases such as leprosy.

Intestinal worms

In 2023, we donated 200 million doses of VERMOX Chewable (mebendazole chewable 500Mg tablets), bringing our total to more than 2.4 billion doses of VERMOX donated in more than 60 countries since 2006. We now have extended our commitment to ensure up to 1 billion doses of the medicine are available to treat children and women of reproductive age in endemic countries between 2026 – 2030. These drug donations, alongside the collective efforts of the global health community, have helped reduce the number of children requiring treatment by over 160 million since 2018.11 Importantly, 31 countries no longer require preventive therapy with medicines like mebendazole because of a lower prevalence of intestinal worms in the population. This gives more children, who are particularly vulnerable to these debilitating parasitic infections, the opportunity to grow and thrive.

More than 2.4 billion doses of VERMOX Chewable were delivered since 2006, treating up to 100 million children and women of reproductive age annually for intestinal worms.


We continue to advance our commitment to help beat leprosy. The bacteria that cause leprosy are related to those that cause TB and we plan to pursue a Phase 3 trial, with the goal of contributing to the elimination of leprosy.

Anti-microbial resistance (AMR)

Extraintestinal pathogenic Escherichia coli (ExPEC) causes approximately 10 million cases of invasive E. coli disease (IED) each year, which includes sepsis, bacteremia, and infection of other normally sterile sites of the body and can lead to life-threatening conditions and death.12 Recent studies reveal that more than 60% of IED cases are caused by E. coli resistant to at least one category of antibiotics, with 34% resistant in three or more categories.13 Drug resistance is on the rise, and there are only limited therapeutic options available for IED, underscoring the need for preventive approaches.14 J&J and Sanofi are partnering to develop and commercialize an investigational ExPEC vaccine candidate, which, if proven safe and effective, could help address a significant unmet medical need by helping prevent IED, including cases caused by drug-resistant strains. In addition, J&J has also set up a collaboration with the University of Cape Town Holistic Drug Discovery and Development (H3D) Centre to focus on developing precision antibiotics to treat multidrug-resistant Gram-negative bacteria (MDR-GNB). J&J is an investor in the $1 billion AMR Action Fund, with a committed investment of $100 million. This is the largest collective venture ever created to address AMR and aims to bring two to four new antibiotics to patients by the end of the next decade. Policies & Positions: Antimicrobial Resistance

11 WHO, “Ending the neglect to attain the sustainable development goals: a rationale for continued investment in tackling neglected tropical diseases 2021 – 2030.”, accessed March 2024.

12 Russo T.A. and Johnson J.R., “Medical and economic impact of extraintestinal infections due to Escherichia coli: focus on an increasingly important endemic problem,” Microbes Infect., 2003 April;5(5):449 – 56,, accessed September 2023. NOTE: The statistics around infections and deaths caused by ExPEC are based on figures in the U.S., which have been multiplied by a factor of 22, extrapolating the U.S. figure to a global population figure.

13 Hernandez-Pastor L., Geurtsen J., Baugh B., et al, “Clinical burden of invasive Escherichia coli disease among older adult patients treated in hospitals in the United States,” BMC Infect Dis., 2023 Aug 22;23(1):550.

14 Doua J, Geurtsen J, Rodriguez-Baño J, et al. Epidemiology, Clinical Features, and Antimicrobial Resistance of Invasive Escherichia Coli Disease in Patients Admitted in Tertiary Care Hospitals. Open Forum Infect Dis. 2023;10(2):ofad026. Published 2023 Jan 27. doi:10.1093/ofid/ofad026, and Bonten M, Johnson JR, van den Biggelaar AHJ, et al. Epidemiology of Escherichia coli Bacteremia: A Systematic Literature Review. Clin Infect Dis. 2021;72(7):1211-1219. doi:10.1093/cid/ciaa210.

Antimicrobial resistance
Neglected tropical diseases