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European Commission and Gates Foundation join forces against malaria
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The European Union and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation are signing today in Paris a partnership agreement to fight HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and other poverty-related diseases. The partnership will invest in research and development of life-saving interventions (drugs, vaccines and diagnostics) to improve the health and well-being of people from developing countries. The two organisations will also seek to ensure that the new products quickly reach those in greatest need.

    European Commission and Gates Foundation join forces against malaria

    Commissioner Geoghegan-Quinn said, "Our goal in this new partnership is to work together to develop at least one new and better health product per year. This will represent a big step forward for the millions who suffer from poverty-related diseases."

    “With sufficient resources and political commitment, we can together improve the lives of millions before the end of this decade," said Mr. Gates. "The foundation is completely committed to supporting efforts to develop life-saving products to help solve some of the world’s toughest problems. Partnership with the Commission and other funders is critical to the success of our common mission."

    The Commission and the foundation will jointly fund clinical development of new ways to treat and prevent HIV, tuberculosis, malaria, as well as neglected infectious diseases such as diarrhoeal diseases, Buruli ulcer, trachoma, lymphatic filariasis and sleeping sickness. Much of this work will be carried out through the European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP), a flagship initiative of the European Union, with currently 16 European and 30 sub-Saharan African partner countries involved.

    Both parties are currently identifying investment opportunities in promising products and new scientific approaches. One key target area will be tuberculosis, where new drugs and vaccines and novel scientific approaches are needed to tackle the disease and counter the emergence of drug-resistant TB strains.

    The foundation and the EC are planning to launch a joint innovation prize at the 2014 Innovation Convention.

     

    Background

    Between 2007 and 2011, the foundation and the European Commission have contributed around GBP 2.04 billion (Euro 2.4 billion) to research and development focused on poverty-related infectious diseases, and have thus supported the development of more than 20 new and improved products.

    EDCTP will soon enter its second phase which covers a greater number of clinical trials and more disease areas. The European Commission has proposed funding of up to GBP 850 million (Euro 1 billion) from the EU budget, to match contributions of European partner countries. The new partnership can play a key role in providing funding for late-stage clinical trials. A typical late-stage trial can take up to 15 years with a development cost of between GBP 425 and 680 million (500 to 800 million euro) per drug or vaccine candidate.

    Poverty-related diseases have huge negative impacts on health, society and economic growth in many countries. They affect the world’s poorest and most marginalised communities. More than 1 billion people, including 400 million children, suffer from one or more of the three major poverty-related diseases — HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis — or from neglected infectious diseases, such as Buruli ulcer, trachoma, lymphatic filariasis and sleeping sickness. HIV/AIDS alone kills an estimated 2 million people every year, while malaria and tuberculosis together kill an estimated 2.2 million people.

     

    For more information or to arrange interviews, please contact the London press office on 020 7973 1971.
    Please note: all amounts expressed in sterling are for information purposes only.

    Last update: 10/06/2013  |Top