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About FP6 Funding

European Research Programme on HIV/AIDS, Malaria and Tuberculosis (2002-2006)

The genomic revolution has fuelled an unprecedented progress in our understanding of the molecular biology underlying many infectious diseases. New scientific technologies have been developed and creative applications have resulted in scientific breakthroughs, that were unimaginable a few decades ago. Few of these scientific advances are, however, translated into drugs, microbicides or vaccines that meet the real and pressing needs of people in the developing world.

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While communicable diseases are almost forgotten as a threat in affluent countries, they remain responsible for more than twothirds of the disease burden in Africa. The three major communicable diseases (HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis) alone account for over 6 million deaths per year, and new interventions to combat these overtyrelated diseases (PRDs) are therefore desperately required. In response to this global health priority, the European Commission (EC) has almost quadrupled its overall annual support to PRD research activities since 2002.

The increased funding for PRD research has mainly been provided through the Sixth Framework Programme for Research (FP6). FP6 was adopted by the EU Member States and the European Parliament in July 2002 with an indicative budget of € 400 million allocated to research into new interventions for HIV/AIDS, malaria and TB for a fouryear period. Substantial efforts have since been made to gather a critical mass of private and public partners from both developed and developing countries for a joint battle against the three diseases. To do so, different funding modalities have been applied to support various aspects of PRD research during FP6.

The largest single initiative under FP6 is the introduction of the European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP) by the European Parliament and Council on 16 June 2003 (OJ L 169, 8.7.2003, p.1.).

African child - Illustration

The overall goal of the EDCTP is to accelerate the development of new vaccines and drugs for the three diseases by supporting clinical trials in Africa in partnership with developing countries. The EC has allocated € 200 million to the EDCTP, which was established in autumn 2003 as a separate legal entity and is based in The Hague in the Netherlands.

The other research activities in the area of povertyrelated diseases under FP6 are mainly dedicated to establishing a stable supply line of promising new drug and vaccine candidates, which can be taken up by the EDCTP.

In areas of PRD research, where fragmentation and capacity gaps are the main obstacles, European integration and synergy has been sought through the creation of NetworksofExcellence (NoE), Coordination Actions (CA) or Specific Support Actions (SSA). In other areas of PRD research, a tight collaborative effort between scientists is required to solve welldefined scientific problems, and this has been addressed by supporting large multidisciplinary Integrated Projects (IP) and smaller Specific Targeted Research Projects (STREP).

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