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Press release

Commissioner proposes up to €1 billion for Africa clinical trials partnership

Brussels, 5 November 2012

The European Commission will propose funding for the second phase of the European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP) of up to €1 billion - five times the current funding level - Research, Innovation and Science Commissioner Máire Geoghegan Quinn said today at the start of an official visit to South Africa.

Speaking at a high-level conference on the second EDCTP programme, Commissioner Geoghegan-Quinn said the EU's offer will be conditional on approval of the Commission's budget proposals for 2014-20 and the funding commitments made by other parties, including EU Member States, African countries, industry and charities.

"The EDCTP is a brilliant success story for EU-Africa research cooperation. Within a decade, it has become a key player in the global health arena. But much more importantly, it is a beacon of hope for millions of people across the continent," she said.

The EDCTP was founded in 2003 to focus the work of the European Commission and several EU Member States, in collaboration with sub-Saharan countries, in developing and testing new medicines for HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis. More than one billion people, including 400 million children, suffer from one or more of these diseases.

EDCTP currently supports 196 research projects. These include 57 clinical trials involving more than 100 000 patients. It has also helped train more than 300 African scientists.

The first EDCTP programme that ends in 2015 has received €200 million in EU funding. This is to be matched by contributions from EU Member States.

The Commissioner's trip to Cape Town also marks the 15th anniversary of successful cooperation between the EU and South Africa under their Scientific and Technological Cooperation Agreement.

The aim is to further stimulate both economies and enhance efforts to jointly address global challenges. In this context, a number of conferences, meetings with the Government, business and research communities are planned.

She will visit EU-funded research projects and South Africa's MeerKAT array, a ground-breaking radio-telescope array that will help transform the way we see the universe as a key component of the planned international Square Kilometre Array (SKA).

Read the Commissioner's speech: http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_SPEECH-12-777_en.htm
For more info on EDCTP: www.edctp.org
For more info on MeerKAT: http://www.ska.ac.za/meerkat/

Press contact: Michael Jennings - Tel: +322 296 3388 - GSM: +32 498 986 880