News and announcements
Press releases and announcements are listed chronologically, starting with the most recent.
DNDi releases report marking ten years of neglected disease R&D
December 6, 2013 -- At a scientific meeting at the Institut Pasteur, France, the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi) marked its 10-year anniversary with the launch of a report that looks at lessons learned from a decade of research and development (R&D) for neglected disease treatments. The report—called An Innovative Approach to R&D for Neglected Patients: Ten Years of Experience and Lessons Learned by DNDi—describes four key pillars an open R&D model: patient-centricity; open access to knowledge and patient access to treatments; financial and scientific independence; and building and sustaining solid alliances with public and private partners, including in endemic countries. Read more.
The end of AIDS requires increased commitments to research
December 4, 2013 -- With world leaders calling for ambitious goals like an AIDS-free generation and achieving the beginning of the end of AIDS, ONE and many of its partners in the scientific and advocacy communities have been working to define this vision. Also known as the AIDS tipping point, the beginning of the end of AIDS occurs when the number of people newly added to treatment in any given year is equal to or exceeds the number of people newly infected with HIV. To track global progress towards this point, ONE recently released a new report, called The Beginning of the End? Tracking Global Commitments on AIDS. This new report is the second in a series of annual AIDS accountability reports. Read more.
NIH to increase investment to find a cure for HIV
December 4, 2013 -- During an event at the White House to mark the 25th annual World AIDS Day, President Obama announced that the National Institutes of Health (NIH) would redirect some AIDS research funds to expand research to find a cure for HIV. Over the next three fiscal years, NIH will invest $100 million in the search for a cure. Read more.
Three key research developments you might have missed from the ASTMH Annual Meeting
December 2, 2013 -- Just two week ago, more than 3,700 attendees gathered in Washington, DC, to announce, share, and discuss the latest research findings on a broad range of global health issues, including neglected tropical diseases, surgery in the developing world, and malaria. Read more.
EU’s Horizon 2020 approved by Parliament
November 27, 2013 -- The European Parliament has officially approved Horizon 2020—the European Union’s (EU) framework for research and innovation from 2014 to 2020. Read more.
New initiative will increase knowledge sharing to accelerate neglected disease research
November 21, 2013 -- The European Commission has invested €8.5 million in a collaborative program called the European Research Infrastructure for Poverty Related Diseases (EURIPRED) to reinforce the knowledge infrastructure across neglected diseases and speed the development of new global health tools like vaccines, drugs, and microbicides. The collaboration includes researchers from 17 organizations in 10 countries. Read more.
Politics putting research at risk
November 19, 2013 -- National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director Francis Collins warns in a new Wall Street Journal article that sequestration and budget cuts could put gains in science, technology, and medicine at risk. As the US Congress deals with resolving the ongoing budget battle, Collins notes that sequestration “was supposed to be the poison pill that was so poisonous that nobody would consider swallowing it but, gosh, we did." Read more.
UPDATED: Demonstration projects for R&D to be evaluated at WHO
November 18, 2013 -- From December 3 to 5, the World Health Organization (WHO) and Member States will evaluate and assess new innovative mechanisms to coordinate and fund global health research and development (R&D), writes Jean-François Alesandrini, fundraising & advocacy director at the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi). The December meeting comes after WHO regional consultations took place, during which each region selected up to four possible global health R&D demonstration projects for possible implementation. Read more.
Promising results in malaria drug development announced at ASTMH
November 18, 2013 -- At the American Society for Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (ASTMH) Annual Meeting this week in Washington, DC, progress was announced in clinical trials for a drug—called tafenoquine— to treat malaria caused by the Plasmodium vivax (P. vivax) parasite. The announcement was made by researchers at pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), which is partnering with GHTC member Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV) to develop the drug. Read more.
The role of HIV research in ending AIDS: New developments in HIV vaccine and prevention science
November 14, 2013 -- The world has made enormous strides in beginning to end the AIDS epidemic. Yet, there were still 2.3 million people newly infected with HIV in 2012. In order to continue to bring down new infections, it is essential to achieve high coverage rates of treatment and prevention methods, including voluntary medical male circumcision, male and female condoms, and harm reduction. In the long-term, new prevention tools, especially an effective preventive HIV vaccine, are critical for achieving maximum impact and ending the AIDS pandemic. Read more.
A call to action for innovations to defeat childhood pneumonia
November 12, 2013 -- On the fifth annual World Pneumonia Day, a call to action in The Lancet Global Health asks for new innovations to transform pneumonia diagnosis and treatment. Pneumonia is the leading killer of children in the world—taking more lives than HIV, tuberculosis, and malaria combined. The authors of the Call to Action note that while there are vaccines that show promise to reduce childhood pneumonia mortality, there is a need for a comprehensive approach to reducing pneumonia deaths that includes diagnostics and treatment options as well. Read more.
TB vaccine candidate advances in clinical trials
November 8, 2013 -- GHTC member Aeras and the Statens Serum Institut (SSI) have initiated a Phase I/IIa clinical study for a candidate tuberculosis (TB) vaccine. The study will work off of positive results from a Phase I study concluded in December 2012 that demonstrated the vaccine candidate produced an immune response, as well as no safety concerns. New vaccines for TB are urgently needed to halt the global epidemic of all forms of the disease, and to protect individuals from multi- and extensively drug-resistant strains of TB. Read more.
Impacts of federal budget compromise emerging
November 8, 2013 -- After two-and-a-half weeks in limbo, government employees were able to return to work on October 17th—when Congress finally reached a temporary agreement to re-open the government. As we’ve highlighted previously, many federal employees involved in the day-to-day work of global health research programs were furloughed during the government shutdown, leading to lost research and delayed studies. Read more.
The World Medical Association adopts revised version of the Declaration of Helsinki
November 6, 2013 -- After much consultation, the World Medical Association (WMA) announced last month that it has adopted and published a revised version of the Declaration of Helsinki. The declaration sets standards regarding medical research involving human subjects. The changes reflect a call to increase protection for people taking part in medical research. Read more.
New fact sheet outlines the global health R&D pipeline and why US support is so important
November 5, 2013 -- In the past, the United States has contributed to important breakthroughs in global health—from the eradication of smallpox to a 74 percent drop in measles deaths worldwide. Because of longstanding US leadership and support for global health research and development (R&D), Americans and millions around the world no longer live in fear of diseases like polio and measles, and many more are on treatment for diseases like HIV/AIDS and malaria. In fact, the US government is the largest supporter of global health R&D in the world, supporting the development and delivery of vaccines, drugs, diagnostics, microbicides, and devices. Read more.
Studies show potential for new HIV treatment
November 1, 2013 -- Two groups from the Harvard Medical School and the National Institute of Allergy and infectious Diseases have found a potential new HIV treatment that could have a “profound and unprecedented” impact on the virus. The researchers found that antibodies were able to wipe a hybrid of human and monkey immunodeficiency viruses out of the bloodstream of moneys. Data showed that injection of certain antibodies drove simian-human immunodeficiency virus from the bloodstream until it reached undetectable levels after three to seven days. Read more.
Gates Foundation and pharmaceutical companies partner on vaccine discovery
October 31, 2013 -- At the annual Grand Challenges meeting in Brazil this month, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation announced a new partnership with pharmaceutical companies to accelerate vaccine research and development (R&D). The initiative—called the Vaccine Discovery Partnership—will enable the Gates Foundation to work directly with leading developers of vaccines for global health. GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and Sanofi are the first two pharmaceutical companies to sign agreements with the Gates Foundation. Read more.
Funding for TB research drops for the first time in eight years
October 29, 2013 -- Each year since 2006, TAG has tracked spending on research and development (R&D) for new diagnostics, drugs, and vaccines to improve TB treatment and prevention. The 2013 Report on Tuberculosis Research Funding Trends: 2005–2012 presents eight years of funding data. It also compares current spending in six research areas to the corresponding R&D funding targets outlined in the Stop TB Partnership’s Global Plan to Stop TB, 2011–2015. For the first time, TAG also analyzed investments in pediatric TB R&D. The report finds that after seven years of slow and unsteady increases in funding, TB R&D investors reported a drop in spending in 2012 that threatens to undermine the tenuous gains made since 2005. Read more.
The Lancet Global Health examines neglected disease R&D
October 28, 2013 -- In a new analysis, the authors of a study that appears in The Lancet Global Health looked the research and development (R&D) pipeline of drugs and vaccines for neglected diseases from 2000 to 2011. Of the 850 new therapeutic products registered from 2000 to 2011, only 37 (or four percent) were for neglected diseases. A previous study from 2002 that examined neglected diseases R&D from 1975-1999 showed that only 1.1 percent of all approved drugs were for diseases of poverty. Although there have been positive advances in global health R&D over the past twelve years, there is still insufficient development of drugs and vaccines for neglected diseases. Read more.
DSW: Public-private partnerships can advance global health R&D
October 25, 2013 -- In a recent interview with Devex, Deutsche Stiftung Weltbevoelkerung (DSW) Executive Director Renate Baehr spoke about the importance of public-private partnerships (PPPs) to develop and deliver high-impact, cost-effective global health technologies. The interview was conducted after an event hosted by DSW and PATH held at the European Parliament in Brussels, during which speakers discussed opportunities and challenges of developing innovative technologies for populations in low- and middle-income countries. Read more.
Oral cholera vaccine proven effective and safe for five years
October 25, 2013 -- For the first time, an oral cholera vaccine has shown sustained protection for five years against the disease. The clinical study results—published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases—showed that the vaccine has a 65 percent efficacy rate over a five-year period. The oral cholera vaccine was developed through a collaboration between the International Vaccine Institute (IVI) and the National Institute of Cholera and Enteric Diseases (NICED), an institute under the Indian Council of Medical Research of India’s Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. Read more.
GHTC releases new fact sheet on USAID and global health research
October 24, 2013 -- The GHTC this week released a new fact sheet on the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and its longstanding support for global health product development. The fact sheet highlights how throughout its 50-year history, USAID has worked with other government agencies, the private sector, and nongovernmental organizations to support the development and introduction of affordable global health products, such as vaccines, drugs, diagnostics, devices, and microbicides. Read more.
No more business as usual: USAID’s important role in global health R&D highlighted at Capitol Hill briefing
October 23, 2013 -- “You’re in a position to make such a difference and to be innovative with your thinking,” Margaret McCluskey, senior technical advisor at the US Agency for International Development (USAID), said to an audience of Congressional staffers at a briefing yesterday on Capitol Hill. The briefing, co-hosted by GHTC and PATH, focused on the critical role USAID plays in supporting lifesaving global health research and development (R&D) for new health tools. Panelists also stressed the need for policymakers in Congress and across the US government to support the development of new and innovative health products. Read more.
Budget compromise re-opens the federal government
October 17, 2013 -- After more than two weeks of a federal government shutdown, with concurrent concerns about the threat of the debt ceiling being reached this week, policymakers finally reached a deal last night to re-open the government. Details of the budget compromise are finally starting to emerge, including the impact on global health research and development (R&D) programs. Read more.
EMA launches new database of clinical trial data
October 15, 2013 -- The European Medicines Agency (EMA) recently launched an updated version of its European Clinical Trials Database (EudraCT), which will feed into the agency’s goal of making summaries of clinical trial data publically available through the European Union’s Clinical Trials Register (EU CTR). Clinical trial data—which sponsors are being encouraged to register on EudraCT—will be available on EU CTR once a new version is launched later this year. Read more.
Vaccinate against the brain drain
October 14, 2013 -- Young people in countries suffering most from the AIDS epidemic want to have their say in development decisions to fight the disease. That’s what Sydney Hushie from the Global Youth Coalition on HIV/AIDS and fellow youth panelists stressed repeatedly during a United Nations’ General Assembly side event at the end of September in New York. And discussions at this year’s AIDS Vaccine Conference in Barcelona reinforced the insight that it will be the young scientists of today who will drive the innovation toward vaccines—among other new prevention technologies—that will help get to zero new HIV infections tomorrow. Read more.
Japanese encephalitis vaccine receives WHO prequalification
October 11, 2013 -- PATH and China National Biotec Group Co., Ltd. (CNBG) recently announced that a new Japanese encephalitis (JE) vaccine has been prequalified by the World Health Organization (WHO), paving the way for expanded access to millions of children in Asia at risk of this disease. This milestone also marks the first time a Chinese vaccine manufacturer has achieved WHO prequalification. Prequalification means that a drug meets WHO standards of quality, safety, and efficacy and makes it eligible for procurement by aid agencies that buy in bulk, such as the GAVI Alliance. Read more.
Malaria vaccine candidate shows promising results in Phase III clinical trial
October 11, 2013 -- Results of a large-scale Phase III clinical trial of the most clinically advanced malaria vaccine candidate—R TS,S—were announced this week at the 6th Multilateral Initiative on Malaria Pan-African Conference in Durban, South Africa. The results showed that the vaccine candidate continues to protect young children and infants from clinical malaria up to 18 months after vaccination. Eleven African research centers in seven African countries conducted the vaccine trial in partnership with GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and the PATH Malaria Vaccine Initiative (MVI), with funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to MVI. Read more.
New tool to understand global health regulatory requirements
October 7, 2013 -- Before they can improve the lives of patients and communities, new global health technologies must undergo rigorous testing and evaluation to ensure that they are safe and effective. National regulatory authorities—like the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the United States—are responsible for protecting the public health throughout this process, making sure that clinical trials are conducted safely, and reviewing trial results to determine whether the benefits of potential products for the population outweigh the risks. Read more.
New TB vaccine could act as booster to BCG
October 3, 2013 -- Researchers at McMaster University in Canada have developed a new vaccine that could fight tuberculosis (TB). The vaccine—developed from a genetically modified cold virus—would act as a booster to the currently used vaccine against TB, Bacille Calmette Guerin (BCG). Such a development offers new hope for the global fight against TB. Read more.
What’s ahead on the Hill: An update on the government shutdown and global health R&D programs
October 2, 2013 -- It’s been a hectic few weeks in Washington. When House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) canceled last week’s scheduled recess—and lawmakers from both chambers stayed to work over the weekend—we hoped that policymakers could successfully prevent a government shutdown. Read more.
How did health research fare at the UN General Assembly?
October 2, 2013 -- After a busy week of negotiating police barricades and security checks in New York during the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), we’re back in Washington, DC, with more thinking about the post-2015 development agenda and some reflections about what was heard throughout the week. Read more.
Consortium to perform first-ever clinical trial for hookworm vaccine in sub-Saharan Africa
October 1, 2013 -- The European Commission FP7 programme has awarded the HOOKVAC consortium €6 million to expand GHTC member Sabin Vaccine Institute Product Development Partnership’s (Sabin PDP) work to develop and test a vaccine for human hookworm. As part of the grant, the HOOKVAC consortium—which includes partners from Africa, the European Union, and the United States—will commence the first clinical trials in sub-Saharan Africa for a hookworm vaccine in Gabon. Hookworm is a neglected tropical disease (NTD) that affects 600-700 million people worldwide. Read more.
Congressmen write op-ed on importance of global health research
September 26, 2013 -- In The Hill’s Congress Blog, Reps. Albio Sires (D-NJ) and Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL) write about the need to sustain US investment in research and development (R&D) for global health tools such as vaccines, drugs, diagnostics, and other technologies to prevent the spread of disease both in the United States and abroad. The congressmen also write about a bill they introduced in the 113th Congress called the 21st Century Global Health Technology Act (HR 1515). The bill would encourage “the development of health products that are affordable, culturally appropriate, and easy to use in low-resourced health systems.” Read more.
New technologies in family planning
September 26, 2013 -- The picture could not be clearer: A woman’s health and livelihood are threatened when modern family planning methods are out of her reach. On World Contraception Day, we are reminded that unintended pregnancy is a major contributor to maternal and infant death and disability around the world, and a recognized obstacle to global development. Read more.
At UN General Assembly, industry group calls for increased partnerships
September 25, 2013 -- As eyes continue to focus on New York City for the United Nations (UN) General Assembly, the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers & Associations (IFPMA) is calling for increased public-private sector engagement to accelerate progress toward the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The group is also stressing that partnerships be central components of the post-2015 development agenda. Read more.
The power to save millions of lives
September 24, 2013 -- This week, PATH, along with partners including the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the MDG Health Alliance, and the United Nations Foundation, is releasing a report called Breakthrough Innovations That Can Save Women and Children Now. The publication introduces ten innovations—from products to systems approaches—that could have immediate impact in saving lives. Each is low-cost, effective, and sustainable. Read more.
Rep. Lee introduces bill to fight HIV/AIDS globally
September 24, 2013 -- Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) recently introduced a bill that aims to stop the spread of HIV around the world. Read more.
New fund will invest in global health technologies
September 23, 2013 -- A new investment fund launched this week that will allow individuals and institutional investors the opportunity to finance the development of late-stage global health technologies. Specifically, the fund—called the Global Health Investment Fund (GHIF)—will contribute to the advancement of tools that fight malaria, tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS, and maternal and infant mortality. The GHIF was structured by JPMorgan Chase & Co and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. It will be managed by LHGP Asset Management. Read more.
A big week for global health, innovation, and the post-2015 development agenda
September 23, 2013 -- This week, many GHTC members will be in New York for the sixty-eighth session of the United Nations’ General Assembly (UNGA), where, among other topics, progress toward meeting the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) will be addressed. Read more.
New GHTC resources highlight FDA’s critical role in global health
September 19, 2013 -- The GHTC has long stressed that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) plays a critical part in efforts to improve global public health. While the FDA is best known for its work to protect the health of US consumers, the agency has a strong history of sharing its expertise to benefit people worldwide and is playing an increasingly vital role in global health issues. The GHTC has released two new resources that provide fresh evidence on the FDA’s growing global health presence, while also offering recommendations for how the agency can continue to strengthen its efforts to improve health and save lives worldwide. Read more.
CDC warns of increased public health threats due to drug resistance
September 18, 2013 -- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently released a report stating that the United States faces "potentially catastrophic consequences" if health officials do not act immediately to combat rising drug resistance to antibiotics. According to the report, approximately 23,000 people in the United States die every year due to drug-resistant infections. Other global bodies, including the World Health Organization, have warned that drug resistance has caused a global public health crisis. Read more.
WHO to charge fees for prequalification
September 16, 2013 -- The World Health Organization (WHO) has announced that it has begun charging a fee to manufacturers seeking prequalification of their medicines and pharmaceutical components. Under its Prequalification Programme (PQP), WHO provides guidance on the quality, safety, and efficacy of drugs, vaccines, and diagnostics for United Nations procurement agencies. Although WHO is not a regulator, other groups—such as the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, the GAVI Alliance, and UNITAID—also use PQP to assess the quality and safety of products they will procure. In addition, the program is an important assurance of quality and safety to countries without sufficient regulatory capabilities. Read more.
New paper examines R&D funding for diseases and conditions of poverty
September 12, 2013 -- The funding landscape for global health R&D is evolving. Significant investments from governments and philanthropic organizations before the financial crisis helped create robust and promising product portfolios for poverty-related and neglected diseases and conditions. However, in the current financial climate, budget constraints are threatening this progress. Today, the GHTC is releasing a new paper that examines the implications of this changing environment—in particular, the financing challenges and opportunities facing organizations that advance the development of new vaccines, drugs, diagnostics, microbicides, and other health products for low- and middle-income countries. Read more.
What’s ahead on the Hill: The top five priorities for Congress before the end of 2013
September 9, 2013 -- Now that Labor Day has passed and Washington, DC, is starting to cool down, members of Congress are filtering back into town from their August recess travels. Some were conducting district work, others were on vacation, and still others traveled to some of the hotspots for global health programming and research. Read more.
HIV vaccine trial to move forward
September 6, 2013 -- Building on a 2009 efficacy trial, researchers in Thailand are moving forward with another phase of an HIV vaccine study. The 2009 trial—known as RV144—was the first clinical study to provide enough evidence that a preventive HIV vaccine is possible. Later this year, a new trial will begin to compare additional vaccine boosts in 360 new volunteers. Researchers hope to determine the types of immune responses the vaccine regimen generates. Read more.
Survey shows negative impact of budget cuts on US biomedical researchers
September 4, 2013 -- The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB) recently released the findings of a survey it conducted over the summer in collaboration with fifteen other scientific societies asking researchers their views on recent Congressional budget cuts. The report—titled Unlimited Potential, Vanishing Opportunity—found that 96 percent of respondents say that research budgets are not growing fast enough to keep up with scientific opportunities. Read more.
WHO prequalifies meningococcal vaccine
September 3, 2013 -- Pharmaceutical company Sanofi Pasteur has announced that the World Health Organization (WHO) has prequalified Menomune®, its vaccine to prevent invasive meningococcal disease. WHO prequalification assures that the vaccine meets the agency’s quality, safety, and efficacy recommendations, as well as its recommended standards for good manufacturing practice and clinical practice. Prequalification status also makes the vaccine eligible for procurement by aid agencies, such as the GAVI Alliance and United Nations Children’s Fund, to buy in bulk. Read more.
More good news for global health R&D as the UK ramps up its investment in product development
August 30, 2013 -- Close on the heels of the announcement that Australia is newly investing in global health product development, the United Kingdom last week also revealed that it’s bumping up its longstanding support in this area. The UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) announced it is investing £138 million—or approximately $215 million—over the next five years into nine product development partnerships (PDPs) to support the development of new drugs, vaccines, insecticides, diagnostic tools, and microbicides. Read more.
Policy brief examines the costs of flat funding at NIH
August 30, 2013 -- A new policy brief states that while the United States has long been recognized as a world leader in biomedical research, flat funding—which in reality equates to funding reductions when adjusted for inflation—could cause the United States to lose its edge as a leader in health research and development (R&D). The brief—developed by amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research, and Treatment Action Group (TAG)—shows the trends of diminishing investments in biomedical research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Read more.
Biotechnology company launches new typhoid vaccine
August 28, 2013 -- Biotechnology company Bharat Biotech recently announced the launch of its new typhoid vaccine, proven to provide long-term protection to adults and infants 6 months and older. The vaccine, Typbar-TCV™, was evaluated in 1,200 study participants at nine trial sites. Researchers found that the vaccine prevented typhoid disease in 98 percent of infants ages 6 months to 24 months, 99 percent of children ages 2 to 15 years, and 92 percent of people ages 15 to 45. Read more.
What comes to mind when you think of drug development?
August 26, 2013 -- In this guest post, PATH’s Drug Development program asked its staff to reflect on the question, “What comes to mind when you think of drug development?” A few of their responses appear below. This is the third and final post in a three-part series on drug development. Read more.
Australia’s evolving role in global health R&D
August 23, 2013 -- In a notable move for global health research efforts, Australia this week announced funding for four groups developing new drugs, vaccines, and diagnostics for malaria and tuberculosis (TB). The funding was provided by the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) under the Medical Research Strategy, which outlines how Australia will invest in medical research and development (R&D) to improve health in the Asia Pacific region. Read more.
UK government announces funding for global health product development
August 22, 2013 -- The United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID) has announced it is investing £138 million—or approximately $215 million—over the next five years into nine public-private partnerships (PPPs) to support the development of new drugs, vaccines, insecticides, diagnostic tools, and microbicides. Read more.
Four PDPs receive awards from AusAID to advance health technologies
August 21, 2013 -- The Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) has awarded grants totaling $10 million to four product development partnerships (PDPs). The PDPs, also GHTC members, are Aeras, the Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND), the Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV), and TB Alliance. The awards are in line with AusAID’s new strategy to invest in medical research to save the lives of low-income populations in the Asia Pacific region and are the first Australia has made to PDPs. Read more.
USAID’s Frontlines highlights R&D projects in top successes list
August 21, 2013 -- In the newest issue of Frontlines, the online magazine from the US Agency for International Development (USAID), the agency looks back at some of its most successful projects. Several of these projects involved investments from USAID in innovation, research, and development. Read more.
Drug development—It’s not for the faint of heart
August 19, 2013 -- Hing Sham, PhD, joined PATH recently as head of research and preclinical development for the Drug Development program. Hing has more than 30 years in the private pharmaceutical industry, where he led major projects for various diseases, including HIV, cancer, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s. In this guest post, Hing answers questions about the risks associated with drug development and the intricacies involved in bringing a drug to market. This is the second post in a three-part series on drug development. Read more.
Encouraging discovery made for dengue vaccine development
August 14, 2013 -- Scientists have discovered a new strategy that hinders the ability of the dengue virus to escape the immune system, which could aid in the development of a vaccine against the disease. Researchers at A*STAR’s Singapore Immunology Network (SIgN) found that by introducing a genetic mutation to deactivate the virus’ MTase enzyme, the cells infected by the weakened MTase mutant virus are immediately recognized as foreign. In response, a strong protective immune response is triggered. Read more.
Drug Development 101: A step-by-step guide to drug development
August 12, 2013 -- In this guest post, PATH’s drug development program provides a step-by-step overview of what goes into each phase of drug development. The program’s investigational new drug for diarrheal disease, iOWH032 (currently in phase 2 trials), serves as an example. This is the first post in a three-part series. Read more.
Malaria vaccine shows promising results in clinical trials
August 9, 2013 -- An investigational malaria vaccine has shown promising results in early-stage clinical trials. The trials—which were conducted by researchers at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), in collaboration with the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research and the Naval Medical Research Center—found the vaccine to be safe and generate an immune system response to protect against malaria infection in healthy adults. Read more.
Proposed legislation could extend combination drug exclusivity
August 8, 2013 -- Legislation recently introduced in the US House of Representatives would amend a five-year exclusivity provision for new combination drugs approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). As the law stands currently, only combination drugs that contain all new ingredients are eligible for five years of exclusivity from the FDA. The agency will grant three years of exclusivity if a new combination therapy includes a previously approved ingredient, and if drug sponsors conducted new clinical studies that were essential to approval. However, the proposed legislation would change the law to also grant five-year exclusivity for a new combination of drugs containing already approved ingredients. Read more.
New compound shows promising signs of treating TB
August 7, 2013 -- Nature reports that a new drug candidate has shown promising signs of treating tuberculosis (TB). A team at Pasteur Institute Korea has investigated more than 120,000 compounds over the past five years and has been able to narrow down the list to one candidate for further study. The compound has shown success in treating TB in mice and belongs to a new class of synthetic chemicals with no similarities to existing drugs –possibly making it tougher for the bacterium that causes TB to develop resistance to it. Read more.
HIV drug awarded tentative approval by FDA
August 6, 2013 -- The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) tentatively approved India-based pharmaceutical company Strides Arcolab’s HIV drug. The drug is the generic version of Truvada, which is manufactured by Gilead Sciences. Tentative approval by the FDA does not allow a product to be sold within the United States, but does make the product eligible for purchase in other countries. Read more.
Aeras and China CDC collaborate to accelerate TB vaccine R&D
August 2, 2013 -- The Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (China CDC) and GHTC member Aeras have signed a memorandum of understanding to advance research and development (R&D) of new vaccines to prevent tuberculosis (TB). While China has been able to reduce TB illnesses and death over the last 30 years, it still has the highest number of annual cases of multi-drug resistant TB in the world—a quarter of all cases globally. Read more.
USAID announces Saving Lives at Birth award nominees
August 2, 2013 -- The US Agency for International Development (USAID) and partners recently announced nominees for the Saving Lives at Birth: A Grand Challenge for Development initiative. The 22 nominees were announced at an event in Washington, DC, that showcased new ideas to save the lives of mothers and newborns in developing countries worldwide. Read more.
Op-ed examines the importance of public-private partnerships for global health
August 1, 2013 -- “A golden era of funding for global health has ended,” writes Dr. Anurag Mairal, global program leader of Technology Solutions at PATH, in an op-ed in The Guardian. With government support for global health programs plateauing over the last few years, Mairal writes that public-private partnerships are “key to providing the highest value for money and achieving sustainable impact.” Read more.
Federal budget update, Part 2: DoD, CDC, FDA, and NIH
July 31, 2013 -- As we discussed yesterday, lawmakers in the House and Senate have been busy with several pieces of legislation that would fund global health and research efforts across the federal government. Our first post yesterday detailed implications for global health research and development (R&D) activities at the US Department of State and US Agency for International Development. Today, we provide highlights for other key agencies involved in global health R&D. Read more.
Federal budget update, Part 1: State Department and USAID
July 30, 2013 -- Recent weeks have seen a flurry of activity for both the House and Senate appropriations committees. Congressional policymakers have approved several pieces of fiscal year (FY) 2014 budget legislation, including bills for accounts that fund global health research and development (R&D). However, with August recess looming and the end of FY 2013 only eight weeks away, it’s looking even more likely that we’re heading for another continuing resolution to keep the government running. Read more.
Indian healthcare group and IDRI collaborate on visceral leishmaniasis vaccine
July 30, 2013 -- GHTC member the Infectious Disease Research Institute (IDRI) and Zydus, India’s fourth largest healthcare group, will partner to develop IDRI’s visceral leishmaniasis (VL) vaccine candidate. The vaccine candidate is the product of more than 20 years of research and development, which has been supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the National Institutes of Health. Read more.
Drug companies pledge to make data more widely available
July 25, 2013 -- Representatives of major pharmaceutical companies in Europe and the United States have pledged to release detailed data about their drugs to outside researchers. The pledge was announced by the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) in the United States, which developed the guidelines with the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA). Read more.
WHO prequalifies Japanese Encephalitis vaccine
July 23, 2013 -- The World Health Organization (WHO) has prequalified a new vaccine against Japanese Encephalitis (JE), biopharmaceutical company Biological E announced this week. The vaccine is meant for use in adults, and the company expects that the WHO will prequalify its childhood formulation by the end of the year. Read more.
House subcommittee bill would cut global health and international development programs
July 22, 2013 -- The House State and Foreign Operations (SFOPS) Appropriations Subcommittee on Friday held a hearing on its fiscal year (FY) 2014 budget legislation. The bill funds programs at the State Department and US Agency for International Development (USAID), including key global health research activities. Read more.
New bill would improve transparency of US foreign aid programs
July 18, 2013 -- Last week, a bipartisan group of legislators in both the House and Senate introduced the Foreign Aid Transparency and Accountability Act of 2013. Sens. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Reps. Ted Poe (R-TX) and Gerry Connolly (D-VA) introduced the companion bills. Read more.
Telling the untold story of tuberculosis
July 17, 2013 -- GHTC member Aeras produced a four-part film series called EXPOSED: The Race Against Tuberculosis. The series tells the stories of four different people whose lives have been affected by tuberculosis. Read more.
Three DNDi drugs added to WHO’s Essential Medicines List
July 16, 2013 -- The World Health Organization (WHO) has recently added three new drugs developed by GHTC member Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi) to its Essential Medicines List for Children. WHO’s list is updated every two years and generally acts as a guideline that many low- and middle-income countries use to inform country-level essential medicine lists, procurement and supply of medicines, and clinical decision-making. Donors and procurement agencies also use the list to decide which medicines they will purchase. Read more.
New drug approvals for neglected diseases double from 2009-2012
July 12, 2013 -- A new study from the Tufts Center for the Study of Drug Development shows that the annual number of drug approvals for neglected diseases has nearly doubled in recent years. Sixty percent of those approvals were for drugs to combat HIV/AIDS and malaria. Read more.
Senate committee approves spending bill for NIH, CDC
July 11, 2013 -- Today, the Senate appropriations committee approved a fiscal year (FY) 2014 appropriations bill that outlines funding levels for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (Labor-HHS) Appropriations Bill would take the positive step of restoring sequestration cuts to CDC and NIH, although there is mixed news for global health programs at the agencies. Read more.
TB research negatively affected by federal budget cuts
July 10, 2013 -- As a result of indiscriminate federal budget cuts—or the sequester—tuberculosis (TB) research at federal agencies such as the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the US Agency for International Development (USAID) has been reduced significantly, reports Nature Medicine . According to GHTC member Treatment Action Group, NIH funding for TB research in fiscal year 2011 was $209 million, which some TB advocates say is insufficient to support the range of research needed to develop new tools against the disease. This amount will be reduced even further due to the sequester. For instance, the NIH must reduce its overall budget by approximately five percent this year—cuts that will inevitably impact TB research funds. Read more.
amfAR analysis shows American taxpayer contribution to global health programs
July 9, 2013 -- A new analysis by amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research, says that the average American taxpayer contributes $14.14 per year to US government-supported global health programs. In total, global health funding accounts for about one quarter of one percent of the total US federal budget. These programs help fight diseases like HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, and neglected tropical diseases. Read more.
Congressional briefing focuses on translational research
July 3, 2013 -- Think tank FasterCures recently hosted a congressional briefing, during which more than 100 congressional staffers, patient advocates, academics, and drug developers came together to hear about the importance of federally supported translation research—the phase of health product development between basic scientific discovery in the lab and testing potential products with patients. In a Huffington Post piece, Faster Cures Executive Director Margaret Anderson describes highlights from the briefing. Read more.
New report highlights global funding trends for HIV prevention R&D
July 1, 2013 -- Recent breakthroughs in HIV prevention research and development (R&D) have confirmed the promise of new options to help end the AIDS epidemic and highlight the urgent need for ongoing research to develop additional prevention options and support rapid rollout of proven ones, according to a new report from the HIV Vaccines and Microbicides Resource Tracking Working Group. However, the report also finds that continued progress requires a broader base of funders committed to sustained support. Read more.
TB Alliance launches new online drug portfolio
June 27, 2013 -- The Global Alliance for TB Drug Development (TB Alliance) recently launched an online resource that allows users to follow the progress of the organization’s efforts to develop new drugs for tuberculosis (TB). The TB Alliance and its partners manage the largest pipeline of potential new TB drugs and drug regimens in history. Read more.
What’s ahead on the Hill: Congress moving slowly on a federal budget deal
June 27, 2013 -- Congress is heading for its July 4 recess next week, having made a few incremental steps toward a fiscal year (FY) 2014 budget for the federal government—including releasing spending levels for several agencies and programs that support global health and research efforts. Read more.
FDA announces funding for WHO regulatory partnership
June 25, 2013 -- The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has announced a five-year, $7.5 million contract with the World Health Organization (WHO) to support regulatory science and enhance global regulatory capacity. The funding will support WHO’s efforts to provide substantial regulatory support to many of its 193 Member States. Read more.
European regulators approve new single-size contraceptive diaphragm
June 21, 2013 -- European regulators recently granted the single-size SILCS Diaphragm marking approval, allowing the product to be sold throughout Europe. The launch is also an important step toward expanding nonhormonal contraception options for women worldwide. Read more.
India’s new rotavirus vaccine—and the innovative partnership that made it happen
June 19, 2013 -- I recently had the pleasure of attending an international symposium on rotavirus vaccines where the government of India’s Department of Biotechnology (DBT) and the Indian vaccine manufacturer Bharat Biotech announced positive results from a Phase III clinical trial of an oral rotavirus vaccine that was developed and manufactured in India. Data from the trial showed the vaccine, ROTAVAC®, to be safe and effective in protecting infants against severe rotavirus diarrhea, the most lethal cause of childhood diarrhea. Read more.
Improving US programs for the world’s most neglected patients
June 18, 2013 -- “A small, modest investment from the US government could truly transform the lives of people around the world and make a serious public health impact,” Rachel Cohen from the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative said yesterday at a congressional briefing focused on neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). NTDs are a group of 17 diseases that infect more than one billion people around the world, most of whom live on less than $1.25 per day. Read more.
Supreme Court rules that human genes cannot be patented
June 18, 2013 -- The Supreme Court has unanimously ruled that naturally occurring human genes cannot be patented, while synthetically produced genetic material can be. The ruling will likely have large implications for medical and biotechnology research, as well as expand current research and lower the cost of genetic testing. Read more.
Working to protect against the dangers of dengue
June 17, 2013 -- Dengue, a painful and sometimes deadly viral disease transmitted by mosquitoes, threatens more than 2.5 billion people, or 40 percent of the world’s population. Dengue is endemic in at least 100 countries in Southeast Asia, the Pacific Islands, the Caribbean, Central America, South America, and parts of Africa. A recent report in the journal Nature estimated that there are 390 million dengue infections yearly; 96 million of those infections cause moderate to severe illness, and 294 million cause no or mild symptoms. Previous reports also suggested that 500,000 severe dengue hemorrhagic fever cases and 22,000 deaths occur annually, mostly among children. Read more.
DNDi wins Rockefeller Foundation’s Next Century Innovators Award
June 13, 2013 -- The Rockefeller Foundation has given GHTC member the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi) its “Next Century Innovators Award” after the organization received the most votes as the “people’s choice” in the public voting contest. In a press release, DNDi said the award recognizes its efforts to “discover and develop groundbreaking new treatments for some of the world’s most neglected diseases, such as African sleeping sickness, Chagas disease, and leishmaniasis, but also highlights DNDi’s innovative approach to research and development (R&D).” Read more.
EU and Gates Foundation form partnership to accelerate global health product development
June 11, 2013 -- The European Union (EU) and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation have announced a new partnership that will pool resources to fund research for HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, and other poverty-related diseases. The partnership hopes to speed the development of much-needed drugs, vaccines, and diagnostics for diseases affecting more than 1 billion people worldwide, most of whom live in low- and middle-income countries. Read more.
Rapid, low-cost rabies test offers hope in Haiti
June 11, 2013 -- Often the shred of truth behind legends, rabies is an ancient disease that has inspired countless stories and cautionary tales throughout the world. The Caribbean island nation of Haiti is no different. Historical records warn of rabid man-eating dogs brought to the island by French colonist as early as 1791. Fast-forward more than 200 years, and you’ll find that rabies is now endemic in Haiti—meaning it is commonly found in dogs, mongooses, and possibly bats. Haiti also reports the highest number of suspected human rabies cases of all Latin American and Caribbean countries. Read more.
NIH releases fact sheet on impact of sequestration
June 6, 2013 -- The National Institutes of Health (NIH)—the nation’s medical research agency and largest funder of global health research and development in the world—has released a fact sheet on the impact of sequestration (or indiscriminate federal budget cuts) on the agency’s funding and operations. Read more.
The plague dipstick—Bringing the laboratory to the bedside
June 4, 2013 -- Uganda is considered a “hot zone” for emerging infectious diseases that have the potential for far-ranging impact. These diseases include Ebola and Marburg hemorrhagic fevers, yellow fever, chikungunya, West Nile virus disease, and plague. The NCEZID has a number of field programs in Uganda to study this unique ecological environment. I have traveled there several times, learning about the health infrastructure and a critical gap in plague diagnostics that was putting people’s lives at risk. Read more.
Drugmakers open “libraries” to spur global health research and development
June 3, 2013 -- Five Japanese pharmaceutical companies have released data on experimental compounds for possible use to create drugs to combat malaria, tuberculosis (TB), and neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). All the companies are part of a new public-private partnership between the government of Japan and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation called the Global Health Innovative Technology Fund (GHIT Fund). Read more.
R&D resolution passes at World Health Assembly
May 30, 2013 -- During last week’s 66th World Health Assembly (WHA) in Geneva, Switzerland, delegates approved the Consultative Expert Working Group on Research and Development (R&D): Financing and Coordination (CEWG) resolution, as well as a “decision point” proposed the United States. While it was expected the resolution would pass, the proposal submitted by the US surprised participants at WHA, as it could start the process of identifying global R&D needs sooner rather than later. Read more.
Short film series tells the story of global TB epidemic
May 28, 2013 -- GHTC member Aeras has recently launched a four-part series of short films on the deadly global epidemic of tuberculosis (TB). The documentary film series—called EXPOSED—tells the story behind TB and highlights the need for new, innovative tools to fight this airborne disease. Read more.
21st century tools needed to confront 21st century global health challenges
May 28, 2013 -- I am pleased to write this inaugural blog from NCEZID for the Global Health Technologies Coalition. We work closely with other CDC centers, federal agencies, and domestic and international partners to protect people from infectious diseases and enhance global health security. Read more.
WHO prequalifies new malaria drug ingredient
May 21, 2013 -- PATH recently announced that its semisynthetic artemisinin, a key ingredient in malaria treatments used worldwide, has been prequalified by the World Health Organization (WHO). WHO’s decision means that semisynthetic artemisinin has been evaluated and accepted for use in the manufacture of pharmaceutical ingredients and products. Prequalification also creates a simplified process for manufacturers using semisynthetic artemisinin in their products to obtain regulatory acceptance, possibly accelerating the availability of malaria treatments worldwide. Read more.
Research!America releases new videos on neglected tropical diseases
May 21, 2013 -- Research!America has released two short videos that highlight the impact of neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) and the urgent need to develop new tools to prevent, diagnose, and treat them. Read more.
New paper offers insights into key challenges facing R&D for diseases of poverty
May 20, 2013 -- In April 2012, a World Health Organization (WHO) working group released a report outlining recommendations to improve the coordination and financing of R&D targeting the health needs of low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). The recommendations were hotly debated at last year’s World Health Assembly, but did not have enough support among WHO Member States to pass. A new resolution will be considered at this year’s World Health Assembly, being held this week in Geneva. Read more.
Curtains down for the NEPRC
May 15, 2013 -- As animal facilities go, the New England Primate Research Center (NEPRC) had attained a legendary status on the roster of US biomedical research institutions. A good number of important discoveries have been made within its walls in the half century it has been around. Researchers working there generated some of the earliest evidence that AIDS is a viral disease, and subsequently discovered the simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV), which causes the monkey version of AIDS. It was there, as well, that scientists demonstrated that a vaccine can prevent the transmission of SIV, suggesting that an HIV vaccine is possible. Nor were the NEPRC’s contributions to science confined to HIV and AIDS. The facility has hosted research of profound relevance to everything from cancer to neurological disease and addiction. Read more.
Rotavirus vaccine clinical trial shows promising results
May 14, 2013 -- Results from a Phase III clinical trial of a candidate rotavirus vaccine—called ROTAVAC®—have shown for the first time that the vaccine is efficacious in preventing severe rotavirus diarrhea in India. The vaccine candidate is being developed in partnership with India’s Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Bharat Biotech, the US National Institutes of Health, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Stanford University School of Medicine, and PATH. The partnership was supported by DBT, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Research Council of Norway, and the UK Department for International Development. Read more.
NIH releases figures on sequestration impact
May 13, 2013 -- The National Institutes of Health (NIH) recently published details on how sequestration will affect its fiscal year (FY) 2013 budget, as well as future years to come. Sequestration will result in the agency’s overall budget falling by $1.71 billion compared with FY 2012 levels, to a total of $29.15 billion—a cut of five percent. As the world’s largest funder of global health research and development, these cuts will have a substantial impact on progress made in developing new tools for low- and middle-income countries. Read more.
Need for continued investment in global health R&D spotlighted on USAID blog
May 9, 2013 -- In a continuation of the US Agency for International Development’s (USAID) focus on global health science, technology, and innovation from May 1-10, the agency has highlighted several important technologies on its IMPACT blog. Read more.
New bill would prompt welcome reforms to US foreign assistance programs, including global health R&D
May 8, 2013 -- Last week, Reps. Gerry Connolly (D-VA), Karen Bass (D-CA), and Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) introduced the Global Partnerships Act of 2013. The bill is a welcome step to reform the US government’s foreign assistance programs, including strengthening important aspects of US global health research and development (R&D) efforts. Read more.
Aeras and partners awarded new grant to develop vaccines against TB, HIV, and malaria
May 8, 2013 -- GHTC member Aeras has received at $2.9 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to work in collaboration with the University of Oxford and biopharmaceutical company Okairos to support the development of vaccines against tuberculosis (TB), HIV, and malaria. According to an Aeras press release, the grant will provide funding for the organizations to develop methods that would enable large-scale production of multiple novel vaccine constructs. Read more.
USAID blog highlights need for innovation, science, and technology for global health
May 3, 2013 -- In a recent post on the US Agency for International Development’s (USAID) IMPACT blog, Ariel Pablos-Mendez, USAID’s assistant administrator for global health, highlights the need for innovation, science, and technology to accelerate the goal of ending preventable child and maternal deaths, as well as create an AIDS-free generation. Read more.
International consortium to develop new treatments for kala-azar patients in East Africa
May 1, 2013 -- GHTC member Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi) is joining with a host of partners to develop new treatments for patients with kala-azar—also known as visceral leishmaniasis—in Ethiopia and Sudan. The partners include the Institute of Tropical Medicine in Antwerp, the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, Médecins Sans Frontières, the Institute of Endemic Diseases, University of Khartoum, and the University of Gondar. The consortium also aims to develop new treatments for patients co-infected with kala-azar and HIV. Read more.
World Malaria Day highlights research efforts for new toolsApril 29, 2013 -- During last week’s World Malaria Day, stakeholders recognized the importance of supporting research and development (R&D) for new drugs, vaccines, diagnostics, and other tools to combat the disease worldwide. Read more.
GHTC launches database on global health regulatory requirements
April 29, 2013 -- The Global Health Technologies Coalition (GHTC) recently released the Global Health Regulatory Requirements Database. The database is a unique resource designed to help researchers and regulatory professionals access necessary information to develop effective strategies for gaining approval to conduct clinical trials and market products. The database includes high-level regulatory information on a variety of countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America, as well as links to key guidance documents and other resources where users can find more detailed information. Read more.
NIH announces it has discontinued immunization in HIV vaccine trial
April 29, 2013 -- The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) has announced that a Phase IIb clinical trial, called HVTN 505, evaluating a two-part HIV vaccine candidate has been halted. The trial included 2,500 men who have sex with men and transgender women in the United States. Follow-up of trial participants will continue. Read more.
Celebrating vaccines’ past successes and future potential
April 26, 2013 -- Through the heroic efforts of infant and childhood global vaccination programs, childhood diseases that once caused millions of deaths across the globe have been thwarted. Hope has overshadowed fear as preventive vaccines help the healthy to remain free from deadly diseases and allow whole communities to thrive. In honor of World Immunization Week, we applaud those at national health departments, the GAVI Alliance, United Nations Children’s Fund, the World Health Organization, and others whose dedication, expertise, and political will have led to ambitious and successful immunization campaigns. Read more.
New bill would bolster USAID’s role in global health research
April 25, 2013 -- Earlier this month, Reps. Albio Sires (D-NJ) and Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL) introduced the 21st Century Global Health Technology Act, which would make several important and welcome changes to global health research and development (R&D) programs at the US Agency for International Development (USAID). Previous versions of this legislation were introduced in 2009 and again in 2011, but did not advance past the committee level. Compared with the previous versions, the bill introduced this month includes several key changes that take a more comprehensive approach to global health R&D at USAID. Read more.
Researchers discover possible new approach to combating dengue fever
April 23, 2013 – Researchers from Purdue University’s Department of Biological Sciences have recently discovered a possible new approach to designing vaccines against dengue fever and other aggressive mosquito-borne pathogens. The researchers found that higher temperatures cause important changes in the dengue virus when it enters a human body, thus offering scientists new insight into how to design more effective vaccines against the disease, which is the leading cause of serious illness and death in children in many Asian and Latin American countries. Read more.
US government collaborations protect and improve global health
April 18, 2013 -- In the field of global health, partnerships are often a primary key to success. The complexities of health, policy, and product development are technically nuanced, but together with the US government, PATH and others are making great advances to adapt, develop, and introduce breakthrough technologies across the health spectrum. Read more.
Patents for Humanity competition winners announced
April 17, 2013 -- The US Department of Commerce has announced the winners of the US Patent and Trademark Office’s (USPTO) Patents for Humanity pilot program. USPTO launched the Patents for Humanity program in February 2012 as part of an Obama administration initiative to promote innovations to solve long-standing development challenges, including global health. The program is a competition that recognizes patent owners and licensees who address global challenges in health and standards of living. Read more.
Rep. Sires introduces legislation supporting global health R&D
April 15, 2013 -- Rep. Albio Sires (D-NJ) has introduced the 21st Century Global Health Technology Act, legislation that aims to encourage US investments in research and development (R&D) for global health products that are affordable, culturally appropriate, and easy to us in low-resourced settings worldwide. Read more.
President’s FY2014 budget has varying news for global health and research programs
April 12, 2013 -- Wednesday, the White House released President Obama’s fiscal year (FY) 2014 budget request, which overall has mixed results for global health and research programs. Read more.
Sanofi and PATH announce launch of large-scale production of new malaria drug
April 11, 2013 -- The pharmaceutical firm Sanofi and PATH’s Drug Development program have announced the launch of large-scale production of semisynthetic artemisinin to treat malaria worldwide. Read more.
The Rally for Medical Research: Protecting investments in tropical medicine and global health science
April 11, 2013 -- On April 8 in Washington, DC, thousands of researchers, patients, and advocates participated in The Rally for Medical Research, organized by the American Association for Cancer Research and joined by more than 200 partnering organizations—including the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. Read more.
World Medical Association allows public to review revisions to human subjects document
April 11, 2013 -- After more than two years of discussion, the World Medical Association (WMA) Council has approved a draft revision of the Declaration of Helsinki, which sets standards regarding medical research involving human subjects. In a meeting in Indonesia, the WMA Council proposed that the revisions be available for public consultation, as well as sent to national medical associations for review. Read more.
Rally for medical research: Building a grassroots movement to make medical research a higher national priority
April 10, 2013 -- Thousands of scientists, patients, and research advocates gathered together on the grounds of the Carnegie Library in Washington, DC, on April 8 to unite behind a call for increased funding for medical research. The Rally for Medical Research was organized by the American Association for Cancer Researchers in conjunction with its annual meeting and was supported by over 200 partnering organizations. Read more.
Rally ‘round the research
April 9, 2013 -- Megan Kane never thought her first post-doc assignment would be a temporary job in science communications. The Virginia resident, who graduated from Johns Hopkins recently with a PhD in human genetics, had hoped to land a job with an academic or government lab focused on HIV/AIDS. She has a particular interest in long-term nonprogressors—HIV-infected individuals who are able to control HIV for up to a decade or more without ever taking ARVs. Read more.
Japanese pharmaceutical companies form partnership with government to advance global health product development
April 9, 2013 -- Five Japanese pharmaceutical companies are forming a public-private partnership with the Japanese government to help develop new tools for infectious diseases in developing countries. Called the Global Health Innovative Technology (GHIT) Fund, the fund will be composed of Takeda, Astellas, Daiichi-Sankyo, Eisai, and Shionogi pharmaceutical companies plus the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Japanese government. GHIT aims to develop new medicines, vaccines, and diagnostics for global health. Read more.
New research offers clues for HIV vaccine development
April 1, 2013 -- Scientists from The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) and the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) have unveiled a new technique for vaccine design that could be useful against HIV and other viruses. The report, which appears in Science Express, could offer clues to solve what has been one of the central problems of modern vaccine design: how to stimulate the immune system to produce the right kind of antibody response to protect against a wide range of viral strains. The researchers demonstrated their new technique by engineering an immunogen (substance that induces immunity) that has promise to reliably initiate an otherwise rare response effective against many types of HIV. Read more.
Asking the right research questions to achieve global health goals
March 29, 2013 -- Asking the right questions is the first step to generating both the “upstream” research needed to create new health products and the “downstream” evidence needed for the implementation of health policies and practices, as my colleague E. Callie Raulfs-Wang described in her March 12 blog. And fostering the right partnerships is crucial to determining the right questions. Partnerships facilitate both product development and operations research, or the testing of scalable solutions that overcome barriers to access, demand, and quality in real world settings. Product development and operations research work in a continuous loop to improve public health around the globe—for example, downstream operations research can help identify a specific vaccine, drug, or device needed in a particular community or setting, thereby informing the more upstream research needed to successfully create this tool. Read more.
Creating partnerships for innovative, high-impact global health products
March 26, 2013 -- For more than 30 years, PATH has been working to advance innovative global health solutions. Partnering is a core part of PATH’s strategy and is fundamental to how we develop and deliver high-impact, cost-effective technologies. Our partners come from international health agencies, governments, universities, other nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), and private-sector companies. Each partnership is unique, but no matter who the partner is, the collaboration must be mutually beneficial and fulfill our mission to improve the health of people around the world. Read more.
NIH map tracks biomedical research efforts globallyMarch 25, 2013 -- In a recent blog post, Sally Rockey—the deputy director for Extramural Research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH)—writes about World RePORT, a system developed by the NIH to track biomedical research funded by agency worldwide. Read more.
Strong global leadership needed to tackle tuberculosis, experts write
March 25, 2013 -- “In 2013, tuberculosis remains a major public health concern worldwide, with prevalence of multidrug-resistant (MDR) tuberculosis rising,” a group of medical and scientific leaders write in The Lancet Infectious Diseases. “In the past eight years, extensively drug-resistant (XDR) tuberculosis has emerged, and has been reported in 84 countries, heralding the possibility of virtually untreatable tuberculosis. Increased population movement, the continuing HIV pandemic, and the rise in MDR tuberculosis pose formidable challenges to the global control of tuberculosis.” Read more.
Budget update: Congress passes budget package for FY2013, while House and Senate introduce starkly different FY2014 budget proposals
March 22, 2013 -- Earlier this week, both the House and Senate passed a budget package to fund the government through the remainder of fiscal year (FY) 2013, thereby averting a government shutdown when current funding expires on March 27. The new compromise funds most accounts roughly at FY2012 levels, with an across the board cut of 0.092 percent. As a reference, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s budget was $349 million in FY2012, while the National Institutes of Health was funded at $30.69 billion and the US Agency for International Development (USAID) was funded at $8.167 billion. Read more.
Film series highlights need for new TB vaccines worldwide
March 21, 2013 -- Aeras is excited to share the trailer for a series of short films exposing the underreported global epidemic of TB and the movement for innovation to improve our tools to fight it. In the TB community, as in other areas of global health, we are constantly seeking ways to help people comprehend the scale and the individual tragedy of this disease, to understand the difficulties of treating it, and to inspire people to do what it takes to adequately address it. Read more.
GHTC members urge Congress to protect global health research funding
March 21, 2013 -- Earlier this week, the GHTC and other global health and international development advocates called on the House Appropriations State and Foreign Operations subcommittee to fully fund key programs in the foreign affairs budget. Advocates presented testimony regarding the fiscal year (FY) 2014 budget for State and Foreign Operations, which includes funding for the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and many other global health and research programs. Read more.
Panel stresses partnerships and long-term support for successful global health research
March 19, 2013 -- “I can’t think of a reason why academic scientists should not engage in global health research,” Dr. Dennis Kyle, distinguished university health professor at the University of South Florida, said last week at the Consortium of Universities for Global Health (CUGH) annual conference. Kyle was speaking at a panel hosted by the GHTC, which focused on current fiscal and policy realities in the United States that will impact global health research and development (R&D) in the coming year and beyond. Read more.
IPM launches video series to highlight need for new HIV prevention tools
March 18, 2013 -- The International Partnership for Microbicides (IPM) has launched a new video series, called Real Voices, that highlights the need for new HIV prevention options worldwide, particularly for women. The series features interviews with scientists, community members, advocates, and others who share their views about the need for microbicides women can use to reduce their risk of HIV infection. Read more.
Where the rubber hits the road: Evidence informing impact for global health
March 14, 2013 -- Like strands of human DNA, the genetic underpinnings of life, research and evidence are so closely intertwined they cannot be separated. Whether testing the efficacy of an HIV vaccine or the marketing strategy of a new contraceptive technology, quality research, careful methodology, and rigorous analysis are fundamental for acquiring evidence useful in decision-making. As outlined in USAID’s Report to Congress: Health-Related Research and Development Strategy, the agency supports a range of research activities, including both ‘upstream’ product research and ‘downstream’ implementation research. Along this continuum, USAID places a strong emphasis on evidence for informing development policies, practice, and strategy. Read more.
Microbicides, vaccines, and TB diagnostics Oh my! What’s new in HIV/AIDS research?
March 12, 2013 -- Nearly all great scientific advances can be traced back to methodical R&D. R&D is a critical step in meeting goals and achieving health results that are cost-effective, sustainable, and grounded in evidence. In December 2012, USAID released its new strategy for global health R&D. The report outlines how the agency plans to address some of the world’s most challenging health and development issues through new technologies, research, and evaluation, as well as the scale-up of interventions backed by scientific evidence. Read more.
Global health research and development: Advancing women’s right to health
March 8, 2013 -- On this day honoring the political, social, and economic contributions women have made worldwide, nearly 2,000 women will die of AIDS and 790 will perish in pregnancy or childbirth. If we wish to truly advance the health and rights of women globally, we must give them the tools they need to protect their own health. Yet, while the benefits of investing in women—and their health in particular—are well-established and far-reaching, less progress has been made over the past decade toward attaining Millennium Development Goals that address women’s health and gender equality than virtually every other goal. Read more.
New report finds that AMCs are promising solutions to global health challengesMarch 8, 2013 -- A new evaluation of the pilot Advance Market Commitment (AMC) for pneumococcal vaccines examines the innovative funding mechanism, which has already helped vaccinate 13 million children against pneumonia—the world’s biggest childhood killer. Read more.
New details emerging about sequestration that indicate an uncertain future for global health R&D
March 7, 2013 -- Although we’re several days into sequestration, details about the full impact of funding cuts are still hazy. On Friday, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) released a report to Congress, which details funding cuts required to offset $85 billion in the fiscal year (FY) 2013 budget. In order to reach this goal, the OMB report indicates that global health research and development (R&D) programs will be subjected to cuts of either 5 percent or 7.8 percent. But because the cuts must take place over a seven month period (instead of a full year) to fit within the fiscal year, OMB calculates that these cuts could actually be at a rate of 9 percent and 13 percent with the remaining funding for this year. Read more.
Significant research results released at HIV/AIDS conference
March 7, 2013 -- At this week’s 20th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) in Atlanta, researchers released study results with noteworthy implications for HIV/AIDS research. Researchers with the Microbicide Trials Network (MTN) announced results of the Vaginal and Oral Interventions to Control the Epidemic (VOICE) study, which tested oral and vaginal antiretroviral-based approaches as HIV prevention methods in 5,029 women in South Africa, Uganda, and Zimbabwe. Funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and managed by MTN, the VOICE study has provided important data regarding drug safety, effectiveness, acceptability, and adherence. Read more.
GHTC director addresses global health R&D and sequestration in new opinion piece
March 7, 2013 -- There has been an “impressive array” of medical and scientific discoveries in global public health in the past year, many of which have been supported by the US government, GHTC Coalition Director Kaitlin Christenson writes in an opinion piece in The Scientist. Read more.
Investing in the future: GHTC congressional briefing highlights compelling benefits of global health research
February 28, 2013 -- “I’d be careful not to break something that would be hard to put back together,” Alan Magill—director of Malaria at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation—said this week at the GHTC’s annual congressional briefing. Sequestration, just days away, was a primary concern for Magill and others at the event, which focused on how US policymakers can protect the nation’s investments in global health research in upcoming budget discussions. Read more.
GHTC 2013 report: Clear steps for policymakers to renew the US legacy in global health R&D
February 26, 2013 -- We have long known that Washington is operating under a remarkably unorthodox budgetary process. Sequestration threatens to reduce funding for most federal programs by at least five percent. More than halfway through the current fiscal year, policymakers still haven’t completed work on the 2013 budget. They will likely be finishing budget negotiations for this year as they start the process all over again for 2014. These tense and uncertain budgetary circumstances in Washington are placing enormous constraints on research and development (R&D) efforts to develop new and improved vaccines, drugs, and other tools for global public health. Read more.
New test could speed leprosy diagnosis and treatment
February 25, 2013 -- A new test for leprosy—faster and more inexpensive than current diagnostics—offers hope that cases of the disease can be found and cured before permanent disability or disfigurement sets in. The test was developed by the Infectious Disease Research Institute (IDRI) in Seattle. Brazil’s drug-regulatory agency registered it last month, and Brazilian diagnostics company OrangeLife will manufacture it on the understanding that the price will be $1 or less. Read more.
A chorus of voices across the government calls for a solution to sequestration
February 19, 2013 -- During last week’s State of the Union address, President Obama called on policymakers to find a solution to the federal budget debate before sequestration—or widespread and indiscriminate cuts to all federal programs—takes place next month. “These sudden, harsh, arbitrary cuts would jeopardize our military readiness. They’d devastate priorities like education, and energy, and medical research,” he said, adding, “They would certainly slow our recovery, and cost us hundreds of thousands of jobs. That’s why Democrats, Republicans, business leaders, and economists have already said that these cuts, known here in Washington as the sequester, are a really bad idea.” Read more.
House Appropriations Committee members release report on sequestration impact
February 18, 2013 -- Democratic members of the House Appropriations Committee have released a report on the potential impact of sequestration on US government programs. The report states that sequestration—or widespread and indiscriminate cuts to all federal programs—would have far-reaching consequences for domestic growth and employment. For example, sequestration could slow US economic growth by half in 2013 and cut more than 2.14 million domestic jobs. Read more.
New study provides policy recommendations for health innovation
February 11, 2013 -- The World Health Organization, World Trade Organization, and World Intellectual Property Organization have released a new study that outlines policies needed to advance new medical and health technologies, and to ensure that they reach the people who need them worldwide. Read more.
First TB vaccine efficacy trial in almost 100 years provides key insightsFebruary 5, 2013 -- Results of a first-of-its-kind clinical trial of a new tuberculosis (TB) vaccine candidate show the candidate vaccine was safe and well tolerated. However, the candidate vaccine did not prevent TB disease when administered as a boost to the BCG vaccine, the currently used TB vaccine. The clinical trial of the TB vaccine candidate, called MVA85A, was a Phase IIb safety and efficacy trial in 2,797 infants living in the Western Cape province of South Africa. The candidate vaccine was safe and well tolerated in the population tested. Read more.
Task Force for Global Health receives grant to establish NTD research center
February 5, 2013 -- The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has awarded the Task Force for Global Health a five-year, $28.8 million grant to establish a research support center for neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). The grant will help the new Neglected Tropical Diseases Support Center to collaborate with other global partners to address gaps in research. The center will coordinate with partners to implement a research agenda for NTDs, while also working to achieve the translation of new solutions into policy. Read more.
USAID releases new R&D report and strategy
January 31, 2013 -- The US Agency for International Development (USAID) recently released a report to Congress on its activities in and strategy for global health research and development (R&D). In the report, USAID outlines its strategy for global health R&D from 2011 to 2015. Read more.
WHO members discuss global health R&D coordination
January 29, 2013 -- World Health Organization (WHO) members are meeting this week to discuss various legal and political aspects of a plan to address the lack of research and development (R&D) for neglected diseases that predominantly affect poor populations. At the WHO Executive Board meeting—being held from January 21 to 29—members debated proposals put forward at an earlier WHO meeting to advance global health R&D financing and coordination. Read more.
New video raises awareness about stillbirth worldwideJanuary 29, 2013 -- GHTC member the Global Alliance to Prevent Prematurity and Stillbirth (GAPPS) has released a new video, called “Born in Silence,” that sheds light on stillbirth worldwide. Approximately three million babies are stillborn each year throughout the world. In the United States, that equates to one baby, one family, every 21 minutes. Read more.
After budget deal, amfAR updates estimates on effects of sequestration on global healthJanuary 29, 2013 -- In July 2012, amfAR—the Foundation for AIDS Research—calculated the potential impact of the budget sequestration on US global health programs. After the last-minute budget deal decided by Congress in the beginning of January 2013, and the subsequent delay of sequestration until March 2013, amfAR has updated the potential human impact of cuts to US global health programs. Read more.
Dengue vaccine shows promise in early-stage trial
January 28, 2013 -- A candidate dengue vaccine developed by scientists at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has been found to be safe and effective in most vaccine recipients, according to results from an early-stage clinical trial published recently in the Journal of Infectious Diseases. The vaccine is sponsored by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the NIH. Read more.
Obama begins second term with new faces, changing leadership in key global health positions
January 24, 2013 -- President Obama officially began his second term in office this week, and will have a host of new faces to work with in Congress and his own administration. Below, we provide a roundup of some of the most critical leadership changes that could affect funding and policies for global health and international development programs. Read more.
Sequestration puts medical research at risk, NIH director says
January 23, 2013 -- In a recent interview, National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director Francis Collins said that if lawmakers in Congress do not prevent sequestration—or indiscriminate and across-the-board cuts to most federal programs—the agency will lose 6.4 percent of its budget. Such budget cuts would be a “profound and devastating blow” for medical research at a time of unprecedented scientific discovery, Collins added. Read more.
FDA working with partners in Africa to advance public health
January 23, 2013 -- The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and “its partners in sub-Saharan Africa have made great strides in improving the oversight of the clinical trials of medical products in development—an important advance in protecting public health in both the US and Africa,” Beverly Corey—senior regional advisor for sub-Saharan Africa at the FDA’s Office of International Programs—writes in a new blog post. Read more.
European Medicines Agency approves new meningitis vaccine
January 22, 2013 -- The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has approved the first vaccine against meningitis B, manufactured by Novartis. Prior to the EMA approval of Bexsero, there was no approved vaccine offering broad protection against meningitis B. The EMA approved the vaccine for use in individuals from two months of age and older. Read more.
New IOM paper examines global health R&D coordination and funding
January 22, 2013 -- The Institute of Medicine (IOM) has released a new discussion paper that examines issues related to global health research and development (R&D) coordination, financing, and prioritization. The paper was written in response to recommendations offered by the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Consultative Expert Working Group (CEWG) on R&D financing and coordination. Read more.
Halting the fiscal cliff: How will the latest budget negotiations impact global health and development?
January 11, 2013 -- Going into December 2012, Congress had neither completed its work on the federal budget for fiscal year (FY) 2013 nor decided how to avoid sequestration—widespread and indiscriminate cuts to all federal programs. On January 1, just before sequestration was scheduled to take place, a deal was finally reached between the White House and Congress. However, instead of approving a long-term balanced solution, policymakers have transferred and delayed sequestration only temporarily. Below, we provide a summary of what the compromise means for the federal budget, and what might happen to global health and international development programs. Read more.
Global health groups respond to budget compromise
January 10, 2013 -- Earlier this month, President Obama signed a compromise measure into law, preventing the “fiscal cliff” and delaying decisions on sequestration and the federal budget until March. Since then, several groups in the global health and international development communities have responded to the law. A summary of some of these responses is provided below. Read more.
Private sector playing an increasingly important role in global health
January 9, 2013 -- In a new Huffington Post opinion piece, Jeffery Sturchio from Rabin Martin and Adel Mahmoud, former president of Merck Vaccines, examine the increasing role of the private sector in global health efforts. “Although global health was historically dominated by UN agencies and bilateral organizations, new partnerships with the private sector have emerged since the 1990s,” the authors write. “For example, today the US Agency for International Development (USAID) alone has formed nearly 700 public-private partnerships, demonstrating a remarkable increase from around 50 public-private partnerships existing in the 1980s. In part, global health's private sector revolution has been spurred by advances in science and technology as well as the realization that previous ‘magic bullet’ interventions are insufficient to address the broad determinants of health.” Read more.
FDA approval of new TB drug benefits patients and highlights the agency’s lifesaving programs
January 3, 2013 -- The New Year has brought some much-needed good news in the fight against tuberculosis. The US Food and Drug Administration recently announced that it has approved a new treatment for multidrug-resistant TB that can be used as an alternative when other drugs fail. The approval is the first time in 40 years that the FDA had approved a drug that attacks TB in a different way from currently available treatments. Read more.
FDA releases guide for drug developers
January 2, 2013 -- The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued new guidelines, outlining how drug developers can help improve the speed and efficiency of clinical trials. In the draft guidance from FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER), the agency outlined “enrichment strategies,” or how drug developers can improve clinical trials through actions such as selecting participants more likely to show a clinical benefit. Read more.
Funding for global health R&D: good news and bad
December 19, 2012 -- Sometimes the best news is no news at all. That’s one of the thoughts that struck me while pondering the results of the latest G-FINDER survey on global funding of R&D for neglected diseases. This year marks the G-FINDER report’s fifth birthday, and so provides a good opportunity to step back and consider what’s really going on with the global funding picture. Read more.
New report analyzes medicines developed for neglected diseases worldwide
December 17, 2012 -- Despite important progress in research and development (R&D) for global health over the past decade, only a fraction of new medicines and vaccines developed between 2000 and 2011 were for the treatment of neglected diseases, according to a new report released by Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) and the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi). Read more.
Rep. Berman releases foreign assistance reform bill
December 13, 2012 -- Outgoing Rep. Howard Berman (D-CA) this week released a bill that aims to reform US foreign assistance efforts, including those focused on global health. The new bill would replace the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961. Read more.
NIH-funded trial will examine new TB drug
December 12, 2012 -- A new clinical trial will examine an investigational drug’s early efficacy in patients newly diagnosed with drug-sensitive tuberculosis (TB). The clinical trial—sponsored by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH)—is led by researchers at the Tuberculosis Research Unit at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. The study is taking place in Cape Town, South Africa, and will enroll 75 men and women with TB ages 18 to 65, including HIV-positive individuals who are not yet taking antiretroviral treatment. Read more.
Changing our definition of neglected diseases: Is it time to think beyond traditional terms?
December 5, 2012 -- Depending on who you ask, you’ll come up with a number of different definitions for what exactly characterizes a neglected disease, as there’s no generally accepted definition. I personally like the one offered by the NIH: “Global health organizations define neglected diseases as those that are prevalent among impoverished and marginalized populations in the developing world. Tropical environments, poor living conditions, and limited access to health care contribute to the risk and spread of these diseases.” Read more.
Research funding for neglected diseases is declining, report finds
December 4, 2012 -- Annual investment in neglected disease research and development (R&D) from donors worldwide has been in the decline in recent years, according to the recently released G-FINDER report. The report provides a five-year review of global investments in R&D for 31 neglected diseases and 134 product areas, including drugs, vaccines, diagnostics, microbicides, and vector control products. It found that while investment in neglected disease R&D increased steadily from 2007 to 2009, it went into decline from 2009 to 2011, due to the impact of the global financial crisis. Read more.
WHO member states call for global health R&D observatory
December 3, 2012 -- After three days of negotiations at the World Health Organization (WHO) to address the gap in research and development (R&D) for neglected diseases, member states decided not to advance an overarching framework for global health R&D. Instead, WHO members decided to separately address proposals on global health R&D coordination, financing, and monitoring. Read more.
Reaching an AIDS-free generation: Why research and new tools must be part of the solution
December 3, 2012 -- Ahead of World AIDS Day, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton launched a new State Department blueprint to reach an “AIDS-free generation” within five years. “An AIDS-free generation will be within our sight,” Clinton said as she described the blueprint, which outlines key strategies the US will undertake to fight the HIV/AIDS pandemic. She also warned: “Now we have to deliver. … The history of global health is littered with grand plans that never panned out.” Read more.
TB vaccine to enter clinical trials
November 29, 2012 – A new tuberculosis (TB) vaccine candidate has been given regulatory approval to begin clinical trials in Europe, making it the first of its kind to do so. The vaccine, MTBVAC, is the first vaccine based on Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the bacterium that causes TB. In light of this development, scientists in Europe believe they are one step closer to a safer and more effective vaccine against TB. Read more.
Developing new tools to fight TB: New report examines state of TB R&D
November 27, 2012 -- Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB) is one of the oldest known human pathogens that continues to pose a global public health threat in the 21st century. The World Health Organization reports that MTB—the bacterium that causes TB disease—was responsible for 1.4 million deaths in 2011, including 430,000 deaths among people with HIV. Read more.
Experimental product could offer faster method of developing new vaccines
November 27, 2012 -- An experimental vaccine based on a molecule that protects animals against influenza may one day offer a faster way to develop new vaccines for humans, German scientists recently reported. If the method also works in humans, it could allow commercial flu vaccines to be designed and manufactured in weeks rather than months. Read more.
WHO members develop plan to fight poor-quality medicines worldwide
November 27, 2012 -- At a recent World Health Organization (WHO) meeting, member states agreed to focus on strengthening national regulatory capacities as part of a plan to promote the prevention and control of substandard medical products worldwide. Member states also decided to form a steering committee to monitor compliance to the plan among countries worldwide. Read more.
On childhood TB, time for ACTION
November 13, 2012 -- When Sipho* was just 18 months old, he began coughing and his feet began to swell. His mother Masia was sent home from a clinic near their home in Swaziland with medicine for a common cold, but his condition only worsened. Eventually, Sipho was diagnosed with a drug-resistant strain of tuberculosis (TB)—and so began an exhausting daily odyssey for him and Masia. Read more.
New report released on global R&D framework
November 12, 2012 -- A group of experts has released a report in advance of a World Health Organization (WHO) meeting later this month to discuss funding research and development (R&D) for neglected diseases. The group of external experts met recently to explore recommendations offered by the WHO Consultative Expert Working Group on Research & Development: Financing and Coordination (CEWG). Read more.
Vaccine candidate can help protect African infants against malaria
November 9, 2012 -- At the International African Vaccinology Conference in Cape Town, South Africa, results were presented from the large-scale Phase III trials of the RTS,S malaria vaccine candidate showing that the vaccine can help protect African infants against malaria. The results show that when compared with a control vaccine, infants who received the RTS,S vaccine candidate had one-third fewer cases of both clinical and severe malaria, as well as an acceptable safety and tolerability profile. Read more.
Round-up: The impact of the elections on global health and development
November 8, 2012 -- With the results of the presidential and congressional elections now almost two days behind us, there has been increasing reaction and speculation about what President Barack Obama’s second term and new congressional leadership could mean for foreign policy, international development, and global health. Below, we provide a round-up of some of the most interesting reads in the wake of the election results. Read more.
Pharmaceutical conference focuses on global health and innovation
November 6, 2012 -- The International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations (IFPMA) held its 26th assembly recently and elected its new president—Eli Lilly Chair, President and CEO John Lechleiter. The biennial conference focused on innovation for global health, and gathered 200 public and private sector health leaders. Read more.
Report looks at the role of global health in security
November 6, 2012 -- The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) has released a report that examines the role of global health and well-being in promoting national and international security. “Our understanding of global health and its relationship to national security, and the well-being of the wider global community has grown and evolved over time. It is now widely accepted that nations with healthy populations are more likely to be productive, prosperous, and peaceful,” according to CSIS. Read more.
Lancet article profiles NCATS program
November 2, 2012 -- A new article in the Lancet profiles the National Center for Advancing Translational Science (NCATS) at the National Institutes of Health, as well as the new NCATS Director Christopher Austin. NCATS aims to speed the development of new drugs for rare diseases that affect US populations, as well as neglected diseases of the developing world. Read more.
Inexpensive test could help detect HIV
October 31, 2012 -- An inexpensive liquid test that could help detect low levels of viruses and some cancers has been developed by researchers from Imperial College London. The liquid changes color to give either a positive or negative result. Researchers say that the test could lead to more widespread testing for HIV and other diseases in parts of the world where other methods are unaffordable. Read more.
Article examines innovative financing mechanisms for global health
October 26, 2012 -- A new article in the Lancet looks at innovative financing sources for global health, which have become increasingly important as the continued global economic crisis means that increased financing from traditional donors is unlikely in the near term. The article examines three innovative financing mechanisms—GAVI, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, and UNITAID—that have reached a global scale. Read more.
Discovering new interventions to prevent preterm birth
October 25, 2012 -- With more than 15 million babies born preterm every year, of which one million will die in infancy, preterm birth is a global health crisis that must be elevated and prioritized on an international scale. Although preterm birth is the second-leading cause of death for all children under age five worldwide, preterm research ranks 99th in National Institutes of Health funding. Causes of preterm birth are multiple and poorly understood; the majority have no known cause, and 80 percent cannot be prevented with current interventions. Read more.
The final presidential debate: Global health was missing from the foreign policy discussion
October 24, 2012 -- It’s not much of a surprise that Monday night’s presidential debate, which focused on foreign policy, was consumed by a discussion of defense spending, and security and trade policies regarding the Middle East, North Africa, and China. While not unexpected, it’s still disappointing that both Barack Obama (D) and Mitt Romney (R) were relatively silent on issues like global health, research, and international aid. We’ve written previously about how critical it is for the candidates to address these issues, given the impact of presidential policies on funding for global health research and other development programs. Read more.
Scientists make key HIV/AIDS discovery that could aid vaccine research
October 24, 2012 -- Scientists with the Centre for the Aids Programme of Research in South Africa (CAPRISA) recently announced a discovery that could aid efforts to develop an HIV/AIDS vaccine. The discovery, detailed in a study published in Nature Medicine, describes how a unique change in the outer covering of the virus found in two HIV-positive South African women enabled them to make potent antibodies able to kill up to 88 percent of HIV types from around the world. Read more.
TB Alliance and FIND collaborating to promote the development of TB drugs and diagnostics
October 18, 2012 -- GHTC members the Global Alliance for TB Drug Development (TB Alliance) and the Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND) have announced a partnership that aims to coordinate the development of complementary new tools to fight tuberculosis (TB), including drug-resistant TB, and identify emerging drug-resistance trends around the globe. Read more.
The Financial Times highlights global successes and the remaining challenges in combating NTDs
October 17, 2012 -- Last Thursday, October 11, the Financial Times featured a special report on neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). Despite the fact that NTDs impact about one in six people around the world, many people—even some of those working in global health—have never heard of them. We’re hopeful that the efforts of organizations in our community, as well as features in publications such as the Financial Times, are helping to change this. Read more.
Innovative research projects will address preterm birth worldwide
October 15, 2012 -- The Global Alliance to Prevent Prematurity and Stillbirth (GAPPS) has announced five innovative research projects that aim to prevent premature birth worldwide. The projects are funded through the Preventing Preterm Birth Initiative, part of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Grand Challenges in Global Health. The initiative seeks to discover biological mechanisms that lead to preterm birth and develop innovative strategies for prevention, with particular focus on solutions relevant to low- and middle-income countries, where 99 percent of the world’s infant deaths occur. Read more.
Aeras and GSK sign agreement to jointly advance TB vaccine candidate
October 10, 2012 -- GHTC member Aeras has announced that it has signed an agreement with GlaxoSmithKline Vaccines (GSK) to jointly advance the development of a tuberculosis (TB) vaccine candidate. This novel research and resource-sharing agreement between Aeras, the largest nonprofit TB vaccine biotech, and GSK, one of the world's leading research-based pharmaceutical companies, marks a significant step in efforts to develop new vaccines against TB. Read more.
Celebrating the birthday of Breakthroughs: The best of the GHTC blog
October 10, 2012 -- It’s been a busy twelve months for the team at the Global Health Technologies Coalition! A year ago today, we launched Breakthroughs with the intention of sharing global health research and development (R&D) news and stories that bridge the divide between science and policy. Since that time, there have been a number of advances we’ve applauded and stories that have touched us. Read more.
Malaria drug receives WHO prequalification
October 5, 2012 -- Generic pharmaceutical company Cipla and the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi) recently announced that their malaria drug has been prequalified by the World Health Organization (WHO), an important step toward its roll-out across Asia. Read more.
Roundup: What will sweeping budget cuts do to health and research efforts?
October 4, 2012 -- Over the past few weeks—as Congress worked on a budget deal to keep the federal government running through the end of March 2013—several global health and international development groups released new reports about what looming, across-the-board cuts would do to these programs worldwide. Groups are worried about the likely devastating impact of sequestration on US-funded global health, research, science, and development programs. Read more.
New report looks at DoD’s role in global health
October 4, 2012 -- A recently released report from the Kaiser Family Foundation provides a comprehensive look at the Department of Defense's (DoD) role in global health. The report examines the DoD’s organizational structure, activities, strategy, policy, and budget for activities related to global health, including research and product development. Read more.
FDA awards grant to spur TB vaccine development
October 3, 2012 -- The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has awarded GHTC member Aeras a grant worth $299,525 to spur the development of new vaccines against tuberculosis (TB). The grant supports the discovery of biological and immunological biomarkers for new vaccines. The FDA has already awarded Aeras $553,425 over the past two years for this project, which is run in collaboration with researchers at St. Louis University, the University of Oxford, the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, and the South African Tuberculosis Vaccine Initiative. Read more.
New reports outline impact of widespread budget cuts
September 27, 2012 -- Two reports this week from Research!America (R!A) and amfAR, the Foundation for AIDS Research, detail the impact on health, science, and research worldwide if planned federal budget cuts go into effect. The widespread budget cuts, called sequestration, would require a reduction in government spending of $109 billion per year for nine years, beginning in January 2013. According to Science Speaks, the impact of sequestration on science, health, and global development “will be draconian." Read more.
Contraceptive R&D: neglected and in need of innovation
September 26, 2012 -- Today marks World Contraception Day, and there is much to celebrate about the successes of modern family planning. Women all over the world are having smaller, healthier, and more prosperous families, thanks in part to increased access to safe and effective contraception. As Melinda Gates points out, there is no controversy in empowering women to decide if and when to have a child. Read more.
Senate Working Group on Malaria expands to include NTDs
September 24, 2012 -- During a congressional reception last week, Senators Chris Coons (D-DE) and Roger Wicker (R-MS) of the Senate Working Group on Malaria announced that the group will be expanding its mandate to include neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) on the group’s agenda. The working group will become an official congressional caucus that will focus on 17 NTDs, including malaria. Read more.
Greater investments needed in NTD research for new tools
September 19, 2012 -- “The United States government and its country partners should be commended for the tremendous achievements in the fight against neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) as part of the US Agency for International Development NTD Program,” Rachel Cohen, regional executive director of the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative North America, writes in a new blog post. “When it comes to research, the US government also plays a major role in NTDs: the National Institutes of Health is by far the largest funder of basic research for NTDs. The commitment to NTD implementation programs and research has spanned several presidential administrations, receiving widespread bipartisan support from both sides of the Congressional aisle.” Read more.
Article compares candidates’ stance on science, other international development issues
September 19, 2012 -- A new article on the Science Speaks blog compares the stances of presidential candidates Barack Obama (D) and Mitt Romney (R) on issues ranging from science to HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and foreign aid spending. For example, both candidates have expressed support for federally funded scientific efforts to address challenges like health care, pandemics, climate change, and the role of science in public policy. Read more.
Update: White House releases budget report, House passes FY 2013 Continuing Resolution
September 17, 2012 -- Since our last update on the latest budget action on the Hill, two significant events happened late last week in Congress and at the White House. First, the White House’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB) released a report on the potential impact of sequestration on federal agencies. Sequestration would require a reduction in government spending of $109 billion per year for nine years, beginning in January 2013. Read more.
NCATS names new director
September 14, 2012 -- Christopher Austin has been named the new director of the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) at the National institutes of Health (NIH). NIH Director Francis Collins made the announcement at the first meeting of the NCATS Advisory Council. Austin—who has served as director of the NCATS Division of Pre-Clinical Innovation since the center’s launch—will succeed NCATS Acting Director Thomas Insel on September 23, 2012. Read more.
What's ahead on the Hill
September 13, 2012 -- Following the August recess and Labor Day Holiday, Congress is now back for a very brief time before it takes another break to focus intensely on campaigning ahead of the November elections. We don’t expect much action on legislation specific to global health or research programs. Instead, Congress will focus on passing a Continuing Resolution (CR) for fiscal year 2013 in ord er to keep the government running through the end of March 2013, as members juggle the remaining legislative tasks on their plate. Read more.
FDA bill at risk due to federal budget negotiations
September 12, 2012 -- A bill signed into law earlier this year that provided the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) with funding is “set to unravel” due to federal budget negotiations, Bloomberg Businessweek reports. In June, the Senate passed the FDA Safety and Innovation Act, which included a reauthorization of both the Prescription Drug User Fee Act (PDUFA) and Medical Device User Fee Act (MDUFA). President Obama soon after signed the bill into law. Reauthorizing PDUFA and MDUFA provided the FDA with much needed funding to carry out regulatory activities, including those for global health products. Read more.
US policymakers need to “get serious about science,” opinion piece says
September 10, 2012 -- “Some policymakers, including certain senators and members of Congress, cannot resist ridiculing any research project with an unusual title,” Rep. Jim Cooper (D-Tenn.) and Alan Leshner, chief executive of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and executive publisher of the journal Science, write in a Washington Post opinion piece. “Their press releases are perhaps already waiting in the drawer, with blanks for the name of the latest scientist being attacked. The hottest topics for ridicule involve sex, exotic animals, and bugs.” Read more.
Article examines HIV/AIDS scientific progress and funding challenges
September 7, 2012 -- Reuters recently examined several scientific breakthroughs in HIV/AIDS in recent years, from studies indicating the treatment can be used as prevention to starting HIV-positive people on treatment early. "What was unthinkable just three years ago is now in sight: an AIDS-free generation and the end of this epidemic," Ambassador Mark Dybul, former US Global AIDS Coordinator, said in July at the XIX International AIDS Conference. Read more.
New HHS global health strategy focuses on research, opinion piece says
September 7, 2012 -- “The world in which we live is more interconnected today than ever before,” Nils Daulaire—director of the Office of Global Affairs at the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)—writes in a new opinion piece. Daulaire wrote the piece in reaction to HHS’ first-ever global health strategy, which was released earlier this year. “In an era when we can get anywhere on the planet in less than a day, and when the flow of persons and goods stretches worldwide, we must ensure that the systems for preventing, detecting, and containing disease stretch equally far,” Daulaire writes, adding, “Likewise, we need to remain just as vigilant when it comes to safeguarding the food and drug products that go into our bodies.” Read more.
NIH program’s new leadership council lacks global health voices
September 5, 2012 -- Last week, the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced a key benchmark for the program—the formation of its new Advisory Council, which will meet for the first time later this month. Read more.
Pharmaceutical company seeks approval for drug-resistant TB treatment
September 5, 2012 -- The pharmaceutical company Janssen-Cilag International—which has developed an investigational tuberculosis (TB) drug that has been urged for “compassionate use” approval in South Africa—has applied to the European Medicines Agency to market the medicine as part of a combination therapy for multidrug-resistant TB. Read more.
What does the private sector really think about priority review vouchers?
August 30, 2012 -- Here at BVGH, we spend a lot of time working on incentives to mobilize companies toward pursuit of research and development (R&D) projects that tackle neglected tropical diseases. In this quest, we’ve focused a lot of our attention on the Priority Review Voucher (PRV) program—administered by the US Food & Drug Administration (FDA)—because it’s a rare instance of an innovative, cost-neutral program targeted specifically at incentivizing R&D for neglected diseases, and has actually been implemented. Read more.
World Intellectual Property Organization project concludes first research agreements
August 30, 2012 -- A World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) project that aims to promote research for neglected diseases through an intellectual property database has announced the conclusion of its first research agreements. Read more.
African researchers report progress on single-dose malaria drug development
August 30, 2012 -- Researchers at the University of Cape Town in South Africa recently reported promising developments in their effort to develop a single-dose cure for malaria. In animal studies, the compound cured 100 percent of animals infected with malaria parasites with a single dose and was effective against strains of the parasite that are resistant to current malaria medicine, according to Professor Kelly Chibale, director of the Drug Discovery and Development Centre (H3-D) at the University of Cape Town. Read more.
Why aren’t the candidates talking about R&D?
August 24, 2012 -- Next week marks a significant step in this year’s presidential elections, as Mitt Romney will become the official nominee for the Republican Party at its convention in Florida. Science and research will likely not appear on the agenda, as Romney, expected Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan, and others will instead focus on topics like reducing federal spending. It’s unfortunate that research will not be a part of the conversation, as new predictions coming out this week indicate that if Romney and Ryan win the election in November, changes could be coming for health research and efforts to develop much-needed new tools for global health. Read more
New poll finds that voters want presidential candidates to address health research
August 23, 2012 -- A new poll from GHTC member Research!America finds that nearly two-thirds of likely voters say the next president should announce initiatives promoting medical progress during his first 100 days in office. And nearly three-quarters of those polled say it is important for presidential candidates and Congress to have a science advisor. Read more
New tools needed to address neglected diseases, opinion piece says
August 21, 2012 -- “In the United States, 2.8 million children are living in households with incomes of less than $2 per person per day, a benchmark more often applied to developing countries,” Peter Hotez, dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine and the president and director of the Sabin Vaccine Institute, writes in a New York Times opinion piece. He adds that one of the “most tragic” effects of poverty “has been its tight link with a group of infections known as the neglected tropical diseases, which we ordinarily think of as confined to developing countries.” Read more
Malaria vaccine project wins NIAID grant
August 15, 2012 -- The biotechnology company Antigen Discovery has received a three-year grant worth $2.5 million from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) for its efforts to develop a malaria vaccine. The grant will fund Antigen’s program focused on identifying antigens in the Plasmodium falciparum malaria parasite associated with protection against the disease. Read more
A global partnership for vaccine design
August 15, 2012 -- When you’re dealing with a global public health crisis, having an international presence isn’t just advisable—it is imperative. This applies as much to the development of new tools to prevent disease as it does to treatment. An AIDS vaccine candidate, for example, must be tested in the people who will eventually use it and against the strains of HIV it is devised to protect them from. Read more
What's ahead on the Hill
August 9, 2012 -- As Congress starts the August recess, there have been a few developments in the fiscal year (FY) 2013 appropriations process, and both House and Senate committees have completed debate on nearly every account. Additionally, both the Administration and Congress have intensified their discussions about the upcoming sequestration cuts, and Congress has proposed continuing resolution to keep the government running at least until March. Below, we provide an overview of recent activity. Read more.
Companies developing novel TB treatments
August 7, 2012 -- Nature Medicine recently examined how several pharmaceutical companies are testing new drug candidates to treat drug-resistant tuberculosis (TB). Companies such as Janssen Research and Development and Otsuka Pharmaceutical have submitted new TB drug candidates to the US Food and Drug Administration and European regulatory authorities for review and approval, while firms like Sequella and Maxwell Biotech have drug candidates in the research pipeline. Read more.
New report looks at US regulatory policies for global health
August 6, 2012 -- The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has released a new report that details regulatory policies and requirements put into place under various US global health programs. According to the report, the United States supports global health efforts through agencies and programs such as the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as well as by contributing to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. USAID and CDC are involved with the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, which provides antiretroviral treatment to more than 3.9 million people, and the President’s Malaria Initiative, which has procured and distributed over 67 million malaria treatments. Read more.
‘Organs-on-a-chip’ may pave the way for the development of new drugs
August 3, 2012 -- A military research program recently announced a new initiative that aims to speed the development of new pharmaceuticals by facilitating the study of the human body. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has entered into an agreement worth up to $37 million with Harvard University’s Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering to develop a tool that integrates 10 human “organs-on-a-chip” to study complex human physiology outside the body. Read more.
Article examines open innovation for global health research
July 31, 2012 -- A recent IRIN News article examines how open innovation—or partnerships between pharmaceutical companies, academic researchers, and nonprofit groups—has grown in popularity in recent years. Increasingly limited resources for global health research and development have “forced global health players to change how they innovate new products and processes,” according to IRIN. Read more.
PATH launches new product development slideshow
July 31, 2012 -- GHTC member PATH has launched a collection of new slideshows that highlight the organization’s portfolio of global health products. The slideshows are divided into five product categories—vaccines, diagnostics, devices, medicines, and information systems—and contain an image of the technology along with information on the technology’s use, the health need it addresses, its funding source, PATH’s role, and its regulatory status, where applicable. Read more.
Lancet study captures global interest with news of major milestone in hunt for new TB drugs
July 31, 2012 -- Global press coverage this week cites a Lancet study suggesting that scientists have made significant progress toward developing an effective and affordable treatment for TB, a disease that every year kills more than 1.4 million people and is the primary cause of death among people with AIDS. Read more.
AIDS 2012: New prevention and treatment options at the forefront
July 27, 2012 -- As the XIX International AIDS Conference continues in Washington this week, research for new tools to prevent and treat HIV/AIDS is standing out as a major theme. Below, we provide a summary of various sessions that have touched on research and product development topics. Read more.
AIDS 2012: Lessons for R&D advocates
July 25, 2012 -- The world of HIV/AIDS research and development (R&D) is changing dramatically, and sessions this week at the XIX International AIDS Conference have examine how R&D advocates need to adapt and adjust their strategies in this new environment. The global financial crisis is at the forefront of many people’s minds, along with issues like increasing demands on already strapped country-level budgets and the possible shift from the Millennium Development Goals to the Sustainable Development Goals. Read more.
Clinical trial results may lead to new hope in the hunt for TB drugs
July 24, 2012 -- Results from a study published yesterday in the Lancet and presented at the XIX International AIDS Conference indicate that a novel tuberculosis (TB) combination drug may be on the horizon. Phase II clinical trial results from a study completed at two centers in South Africa found that a new drug combination killed more than 99 percent of TB bacteria within two weeks and could be more effective than existing treatments. Read more.
Investing in the End of the Pandemic: A New Era for HIV Prevention Research & Development
July 24, 2012 -- Close to 25,000 scientists, policymakers, and advocates from around the world are gathering here in Washington, DC, this week for the 2012 International AIDS Conference, where much of the discussion will be about how we can end the AIDS pandemic. The fact that these conversations will be based not just on hope but on real scientific progress proves how far we’ve come and how much we’ve learned in the struggle against AIDS over the last decade. Unprecedented public and private commitments to HIV prevention, treatment, and care over the last 10 years have saved the lives of millions of men, women, and children. Read more.
AIDS 2012: A resounding call for research
July 24, 2012 -- On the second day of the XIX International AIDS Conference, the need for a host of new tools to prevent and treat HIV/AIDS has already made it to the forefront of the agenda. Of particular note has been the resounding call for a vaccine to prevent HIV, with leading policymakers, scientists, and advocates saying that the world will never reach the end of AIDS without this powerful tool. In a session that focused on improving the effectiveness and efficacy in the HIV/AIDS response, Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said that a vaccine is desperately needed to help make a sizable dent in the pandemic. Read more.
WHO endorses use of antiretroviral drug Truvada for HIV prevention
July 23, 2012 -- Only four days after the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the use of the antiretroviral drug Truvada for HIV prevention, the World Health Organization (WHO) endorsed its use for HIV-negative people at a high risk of HIV infection. Read more.
Inaugural global scientific strategy launched ahead of the XIX International AIDS Conference
July 23, 2012 -- Global partners recently released the first-ever global scientific strategy to develop a cure for HIV/AIDS. The strategy, called “Towards an HIV Cure,” was launched just days ahead of the XIX International AIDS Conference in Washington, DC, where the world’s leading HIV/AIDS scientists and stakeholders will gather to discuss the prospects of finding a cure for the disease. Read more.
FDA approves HIV drug for prevention
July 17, 2012 -- Yesterday, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the use of the antiretroviral drug Truvada for HIV prevention. The agency approved Truvada for daily use in a method called pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP). According to the FDA, the drug—made by Gilead Sciences—should be used in combination with other safer-sex practices to reduce the risk of sexually transmitted HIV among adults at high risk. Read more.
AIDS 2012: Time to recognize and recommit US support for research
July 13, 2012 -- As the International AIDS Conference descends on DC later this month — the first time this conference has been held in the United States in over 20 years — there couldn’t be a better time to reflect on the scientific gains that have emerged over the past several months, and how a wide range of dedicated Americans are pushing this HIV/AIDS research forward. Read more.
The human impact of budget cuts to global health programs
July 12, 2012 -- amfAR recently released a new analysis that outlines the potential effects of budget sequestration on global health programs, using updated figures to reflect recent and accurate estimates. As our analysis illustrates, cutting funding for global health programs—including those that support access to lifesaving HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis (TB), and malaria tools and programs that fund research for the next generation of global health products—would barely make a dent in reducing the US federal deficit. However, cuts to global health and health research programs would have a crippling impact on people around the world. Read more.
Neglected tropical diseases are a growing problem in the US
July 12, 2012 -- A recent CNN interview with Dr. Peter Hotez, dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine and president of the Sabin Vaccine Institute, highlighted the growing emergence of neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) in US populations. Calling NTDs the “most important infections you’ve never heard about,” Dr. Hotez described the rising number of infections, which are being recorded in large numbers among African American and Hispanic populations living in Texas and other southern states. Read more.
Obama signs FDA bill into law
July 12, 2012 -- President Obama has signed the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Safety and Innovation Act into law. The bipartisan bill was approved by Congress last month after having moved through both the House and Senate with support from Democrats and Republicans. Read more.
To reach the end of HIV/AIDS, research must be a priority
July 11, 2012 -- Yesterday, the International AIDS Society (IAS) and the University of California-San Francisco released the Washington, DC Declaration ahead of this month’s XIX International AIDS Conference. The declaration aims to build support for efforts to end the HIV/AIDS pandemic, and lists nine priorities that are needed to achieve this goal. Read more.
New USAID-NIH grant program addresses research-to-practice barriers in child survival
July 10, 2012 -- The US Agency for International Development (USAID) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) have launched a new grant program that promotes research to help end preventable child deaths and promote child survival in developing countries. Called the Partnerships for Enhanced Engagement in Research (PEER) Health, the program is an extension of the already successful PEER Science program that was launched in 2011. Read more.
UN recommends innovative financing as a source of aid funding
July 10, 2012 -- The United Nations (UN) is urging countries to impose various innovative financing mechanisms in an effort to raise money to offset cutbacks in international development aid. In the wake of the global economic turmoil, a new report—the UN World Economic and Social Survey 2012: In Search of Better Development Finance—reported that many donor countries have not lived up to aid commitments, resulting in a decline in aid flows. According to Rob Vos—the survey’s author and director of the UN Development Policy and Analysis Division—“donor countries have fallen well short of their aid commitments.”He also said that “development assistance declined last year because of budget cuts, increasing the [aid] shortfall to $167 billion.” Read more.
Voices of Global Health - Stewart Parker, IDRI
July 5, 2012 -- In this guest post, Stewart Parker, CEO of the Infectious Disease Research Institute (IDRI), discusses working in Washington State’s global health community. IDRI, a GHTC member, conducts research and development for products to prevent, detect, and treat infectious diseases of poverty. This post originally appeared on the Washington Global Health Alliance’s Voices of Global Health blog to mark Global Health Month. Read more.
FDA approves take home HIV test
July 5, 2012 -- The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved OraSure Technologies’ rapid test for HIV. The test was previously sold only to health care professionals to be used at facilities. With today’s decision, the test will become the first over-the-counter, self-administered HIV test that people can use at home. Read more.
In search of new antibiotics
July 2, 2012 -- In a recent article, IRIN News highlights the serious need for new antibiotics worldwide. The article cites a World Health Organization report, which found that “almost one in every five deaths worldwide occurs as a result of infection, but many bacterial illnesses will become incurable as the efficacy of current antibiotic drugs wanes.” The increasing global resistance to currently available antibiotics can be attributed to inappropriate or excessive use of the antibiotic drugs, among other issues, while poor hygiene can help speed drug resistance. Read more.
What’s Ahead on the Hill
June 28, 2012 -- Over the past several weeks, Congress has been incredibly active on the federal budget and other pieces of legislation that could have implications for global health research and development (R&D). Below, we provide an overview of the most recent action, and what the next several weeks could bring. Read more.
NIH director worried about budget cuts
June 28, 2012 -- Testifying in front of the House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee last week, director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Francis Collins, said that sequestration “could do serious damage to the progress that we now see in medical research [at the NIH].” Sequestration would result in automatic budget cuts for most federal programs funded by the US Government and was a result of last year’s budget negotiations between Congress and the Administration. Read more.
MMV releases annual report
June 26, 2012 -- GHTC member the Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV) released its 2011 Annual Report this month. The report presents a comprehensive assessment of MMV’s performance in 2011, highlighting several key achievements such as the approval of two new MMV co-developed medicines, its research portfolio, the top ten MMV publications over the last year, and a snapshot of the organization’s funding portfolio. Read more.
European Medicines Agency recommends Sanofi childhood vaccine
June 26, 2012 -- The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has issued a recommendation that the Hexaxim childhood vaccine is safe for use outside of the European Union (EU). Developed by Sanofi, the vaccine offers protection against six World Health Organization (WHO) priority diseases: diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (whooping cough), Hepatitis B, polio, and invasive diseases caused by influenza type B, including meningitis. The vaccine was developed for use among children between six weeks and two years of age. Read more.
Answering an Important Call to Save Children’s Lives
June 22, 2012 -- The Child Survival Call to Action that took place last week in Washington, DC, was a unique opportunity for 700 stakeholders working in the government, the private sector, faith-based organizations, and civil society to come together to kick off a long-term, focused effort to save children’s lives. While the goal of the Call to Action— to decrease annual preventable childhood deaths to two million by 2035—may seem daunting, we ought to remind ourselves that we already have many of the tools at our disposal to achieve success. Read more.
FDA approves use of new CDC dengue test
June 22, 2012 -- The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the use of a new diagnostic test for earlier detection of dengue fever in the United States. Developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the test, which is called the CDC DENV-1-4 Real Time RT PCR Assay, is the first-of-its-kind that has been approved by the FDA. The test can identify all four types of the dengue virus and can diagnose the disease within the first seven days after symptoms of the illness appear—when the virus is likely to be present in the bloodstream. Read more.
Research!America launches new awareness campaign
June 22, 2012 -- Research!America, a GHTC member, has recently launched a new awareness campaign to highlight the successes and payoffs of investing in global health research. The campaign, called “Nice Save–American Ingenuity Saves Lives,” is a four-part advertisement series aimed at educating the American public on how global health research and development creates tools to combat killers like HIV/AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis, and neglected tropical diseases. Read more.
Ushering in Advancements for Women’s Health
June 21, 2012 -- Last week, IPM announced The Ring Study, a Phase III efficacy trial to determine whether a monthly antiretroviral (ARV)-containing vaginal ring can safely and effectively help prevent HIV infection in women. This product could provide women with discreet, long-acting, and easy-to-use protection. Read more.
Reducing child deaths worldwide must involve research
June 20, 2012 -- Combating preventable child deaths worldwide is an “investment that will pay dividends for years to come,” Deputy National Security Advisor Dennis McDonough said last week at a major conference at Georgetown University. At the conference, representatives from over 80 countries met to pledge their support for an exciting new global campaign for child survival. Hosted by the United States, UNICEF, and the governments of Ethiopia and India, the summit convened high-ranking government officials, members of the faith community, advocates, and private sector representatives. Read more.
New video highlights R&D vaccine success story
June 20, 2012 -- The Impatient Optimists blog has posted a new video on the MenAfriVac™ meningitis vaccine, one of the most compelling global health research and development stories in recent years. The vaccine was developed for use in Africa by PATH and the World Health Organization (WHO) through a product development partnership known as the Meningitis Vaccine Project (MVP). Read more.
Follow Breakthroughs for the latest R&D news from AIDS 2012
June 15, 2012 -- It’s exciting to see that research is a central theme of this year’s AIDS 2012 conference in Washington, DC. The biennial gathering of the world’s top HIV/AIDS scientists, advocates, and policymakers comes on the heels of some of the most significant research results for new HIV prevention and treatment tools in recent years, and the Breakthroughs blog will be at the conference from July 22 to 27, reporting on these research and development (R&D) advances. Read more.
Five additional pharmaceutical companies join NIH initiative to spur drug development
June 15, 2012 -- Five new pharmaceutical companies have joined a National Institutes of Health (NIH) program that will pair researchers with certain pharmaceutical industry compounds to help scientists explore new treatment options for patients. Read more.
New TB vaccines needed to fight the disease, letter says
June 15, 2012 -- Although tuberculosis (TB) “may evoke Edgar Allen Poe and great literary giants who suffered from the disease in the past, there are more people infected now than at any time in history,” a Baltimore Sun letter-to-the-editor reads. Read more.
FDA delays decision on use of drug as PrEP
June 12, 2012 -- The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has decided to delay its final decision on whether the drug Truvada, made by Gilead Sciences, can be used by certain high-risk, HIV-negative people as a preventive measure against HIV. In May, a committee of FDA advisors recommended the use of Truvada in a method known as pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP). The FDA now says its decision will be announced by September 14, 2012. Read more.
Pharma company could be close to developing a vaccine for dengue
June 7, 2012 -- Pharmaceutical company Sanofi could be on the cusp of developing the most advanced dengue vaccine on the market. The firm will find out in September if their key trial in Thailand will set the vaccine on course to be available by 2015. Dengue—which infects 50 to 100 million people and kills nearly 20,000 people a year—is expanding rapidly to growing tropical cities in low- and middle-income countries. Read more.
Scientist discover important link to possible Chagas disease prevention and treatment
June 5, 2012 -- With funding from the National Institutes of Health, scientists from several countries have decoded the genome of one of the main vectors of Chagas disease, a disease that affects millions of people in Latin America and can cause fever, tiredness, and eventually a weakened heart and other organs, and possibly death. This discovery could lead to new technologies similar to those currently used to control malaria and dengue. Read more.
Advisory panel, Congress move to advance FDA’s role in global health
June 4, 2012 -- Recently, a US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) panel recommended that the HIV/AIDS drug Truvada be approved for HIV prevention among certain groups at risk of infection. Known as pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), this prevention method involves HIV-negative individuals taking antiretroviral drugs to prevent HIV infection. This recommendation from the FDA panel does not oblige the agency to follow suit; however, it often does. Read more.
Senator introduces incentive mechanism to boost medical discovery
June 1, 2012 -- Legislation that would expand the Therapeutic Discovery Project, which supported medical discovery and job creation in 2009 and 2010, has been introduced into Congress by US Senator Robert Menendez. The legislation would provide incentives through tax credits for a wide range of US researchers and companies which could have implications for global health research and development. Read more.
Mixed outcomes from the World Health Assembly on global health R&D
May 30, 2012 -- Last week, at the 65th World Health Assembly (WHA) in Geneva, Switzerland, health ministers from all over the world failed to come to a consensus for a binding convention on financing global health research and development (R&D), but did agree to endorse the Global Vaccine Action Plan (GVAP), which provides a roadmap to prevent millions on deaths by 2020. Read more.
Developing a novel vaccine against tuberculosis: A conversation with Dr. Steven Reed
May 29, 2012 -- Dr. Steven Reed is the founder, president, and chief scientific officer of the Infectious Disease Research Institute (IDRI), located in Seattle, Washington. IDRI is a 120-person nonprofit biotech committed to applying innovative science to the research and development of products to prevent, detect, and treat infectious diseases of poverty. Read more.
Group Combines Proposals on R&D at World Health Assembly
May 25, 2012 -- A group at the World Health Assembly (WHA) this week announced that it will combine four different proposals that aim to fund research and development (R&D) for neglected diseases of the developing world. The group—established in a larger committee of World Health Organization members—decided to create a single document with elements from all four proposals. Read more.
UPDATE: House Appropriations Committee approves SFOPs legislation
May 21, 2012 -- Late last week, the House Appropriations Committee debated and approved Fiscal Year (FY) 2013 appropriations legislation for the State and Foreign Operations (SFOPS) account, which includes funding levels for the State Department and the US Agency for International Development (USAID). The bill that the SFOPs subcommittee previously approved went largely unchanged in the full appropriations committee vote. Read more.
GHTC, Policy Cures stress importance of all stages of research
May 21, 2012 -- The Global Health Technologies Coalition (GHTC) and Policy Cures recently called on the US Government to fund all stages of research—from early, basic research stages to later stage clinical trials—to create global health tools such as vaccines, drugs, diagnostics, microbicides, and devices. In a letter-to-the-editor in BMJ, the two nonprofits stress that all stages of research are critical for global health product development. Read more.
Modeling potential impact on HIV Vaccine Awareness Day
May 18, 2012 -- Throughout my career, I have witnessed the tremendous power of vaccines to prevent sickness and save lives—delivering incredible victories for humanity against diseases such as polio, smallpox, and measles. These vaccines would not have been possible without the inspiration, persistence, and courage of researchers, volunteers, and health workers around the world. Read more.
Event examines new WHO report on global health R&D
May 17, 2012 -- The WHO Consultative Expert Working Group on Research and Development: Financing and Coordination (CEWG) recently released a new report, titled “Research and Development to Meet Health Needs in Developing Countries: Strengthening Global Financing and Coordination.” The report lays out the working group’s vision for principles, policies, and a framework that should be embodied in a global R&D system to meet the needs of those for whom markets fail. Read more.
FDA panel backs rapid, take home HIV test
May 17, 2012 -- A Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advisory panel has recommended that the agency approve the first over-the-counter HIV test, a kit that could return results for consumers in the privacy of their homes. The test, made by OraSure Technologies, is currently sold commercially to health care professionals to be used at facilities. If approved by the FDA, the test results could be used at home, much like tests for pregnancy and blood sugar levels are. The FDA usually follows panel recommendations. Read more.
House budget bill has mixed results for USAID and global health
May 16, 2012 -- On Thursday, the House Appropriations Committee will vote on a State and Foreign Operations (SFOPS) appropriations bill for fiscal year (FY) 2013, which will include funding levels for global health and other programs at the State Department and US Agency for International Development (USAID). This vote follows last week’s markup of the bill by the House SFOPS appropriations subcommittee. Overall, the subcommittee’s bill had mixed results for global health and other programs at USAID: while some programs were sustained at FY 2012 levels, others saw significant budget cuts that will affect the agency’s efforts worldwide. Read more.
FDA panel recommends HIV drug be used as prevention
May 15, 2012 -- Last week, a panel at the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommended that the agency approve the antiretroviral drug Truvada for pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) to prevent HIV among certain people at risk of contracting the virus. The panel of medical experts, people living with HIV/AIDS, and community advocates voted to decide if the FDA should approve Truvada as a PrEP tool in three populations. Read more.
US should maintain its commitment to global health programs, opinion piece says
May 10, 2012 -- “Over the next few weeks, appropriators will be engaged in the challenging task of evaluating US foreign assistance funding, including how effectively Congress’ global health investments are being used,” Charles Lyons, president and CEO of the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, Molly Joel Coye, interim president and CEO of PATH, Carolyn Miles, president and CEO of Save the Children, and Richard Stearns, president of World Vision, write in a Roll Call opinion piece. The authors add that they “agree that every effort should be made to ensure that funding is used efficiently and distributed in a timely manner. But we also see firsthand how US global health programs are working, and why now is not the time to cut multilateral and bilateral funding for these efforts.” Read more.
GHTC members collaborate to develop new TB vaccine
May 10, 2012 -- Two GHTC members and product development partnerships (PDPs), Aeras and the Infectious Disease Research Institute (IDRI), have announced that they will conduct joint development activities with IDRI’s novel tuberculosis (TB) vaccine candidate ID93/GLA-SE. This partnership emphasizes the goals of both nonprofits—to develop products that address diseases of the developing world. Read more.
Global health groups release new factsheet on product development
May 9, 2012 -- The Global Health Technologies Coalition, along with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Policy Cures, and the German Foundation for World Population (DSW), have released a new factsheet called Creating the tools for tomorrow: Investing in global health R&D. The factsheet describes global health research and product development, and the role of product development partnerships in creating new global health tools. Read more.
FDA review finds that HIV drug is safe for prevention
May 9, 2012 -- A review team at the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has released a report that says the antiretroviral drug Truvada, manufactured by the pharmaceutical company Gilead Sciences, is safe and effective for HIV-negative people to use as prevention. The review team released its report ahead of a meeting on May 10, during which FDA advisors will determine if the agency should approve the drug for HIV prevention in a method known as pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP). Truvada is a combination of the antiretroviral drugs Emtricitabine (FTC) and tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF). Read more.
CDC launches new global health blog
May 8, 2012 -- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has launched a new blog, called “Our Global Voices.” The blog focuses on the agency’s global health efforts, and will include posts from CDC’s global health leaders and staff working to improve health and save lives around the world. The initial blog posts focus on global health topics such as the importance of immunization, vaccine efforts in Kenya, and measles eradication in China. Read more.
New NIH program could speed innovations for patients in need worldwide
May 7, 2012 -- Late last week, the National Center for Advancing Translational Science (NCATS) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) unveiled a pilot program that aims to speed the creation of new drugs. Under the program, three pharmaceutical companies have agreed to make dozens of their failed compounds available to researchers, who will investigate if the compounds can be re-purposed into successful treatments for other diseases. The HIV/AIDS drug AZT, which was born out of an unsuccessful cancer treatment, has been cited as a prime example of the potential for this new program. Read more.
NIH launches program with industry groups and researchers to spur drug development
May 4, 2012 -- The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has launched a new program that will pair researchers with certain pharmaceutical industry compounds to help scientists explore new treatment options for patients. The NIH's National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) has partnered with the pharmaceutical companies Pfizer, AstraZeneca, and Eli Lilly & Company, which have agreed to make dozens of their compounds available for the program’s pilot phase. Read more.
Research experts stress why investing in R&D works for the US and the world
May 1, 2012 -- With the ever-present specter of federal budget reductions that could impact global health and development programs, the GHTC’s event on Friday to launch our new report couldn’t have come at a better time. The report, released by the GHTC and Policy Cures, provides new and exciting data on US investments over the past 10 years in global health research and development (R&D). It confirms that support from the US Government and its federal agencies has not only contributed to the largest pipeline of new global health products in history, but also that these investments make smart economic sense domestically. Read more.
TB vaccine developers sign understanding to accelerate progress
May 1, 2012 -- The TuBerculosis Vaccine Initiative (TBVI) and GHTC member Aeras have announced a new memorandum of understanding to strengthen collaborative efforts to advance the world’s most promising tuberculosis (TB) vaccine candidates. Read more.
What could you prove with $100,000?
April 26, 2012 -- As one of the most cost-effective health interventions, new lifesaving vaccines bring great promise to communities around the world. However, these new vaccines often present challenges to the immunization supply systems of low- and middle-income countries. Some new vaccines can occupy more space, may be more complex to prepare for administration, and may have temperature requirements that are not suited to the challenging environment of low- and middle-income countries. Read more.
Investment in malaria R&D required to sustain gains and save lives
April 25, 2012 -- In the United States, the bite of a mosquito is uncomfortable and irritating. For 3.3 billion people abroad, a mosquito bite can be deadly. Almost half of the global population is at risk of contracting malaria from the bite of an infected mosquito. Although malaria is preventable and curable, an estimated 655,000 people, mostly children in Africa, died from the disease in 2010. Read more.
Expanding the pneumonia fight: new vaccines for the world’s most vulnerable children
April 23, 2012 -- In honor of World Immunization Week, the global health community is coming together to engage in immunization campaigns, advocacy, and awareness activities to bring the power of vaccines into the spotlight. Vaccines are one of the most successful and cost-effective technologies that prevent childhood mortality. According to the World Health Organization, immunization prevents between two and three million deaths per year. Regardless, many vaccine-preventable diseases continue to take lives unnecessarily because of gaps in vaccine research and development (R&D) that neglect developing-world needs. Read more.
FDA blog highlights need for more interaction between US and international regulatory systems
April 20, 2012 -- In a recent post on the US Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) blog, FDAVoice, Associate Commissioner for International Programs Mary Lou Valdez wrote about the need for more interaction between the FDA and other regulatory systems around the world. Read more.
Researchers meet in Australia to discuss microbicides for HIV prevention
Can a mutant be a medical breakthrough?
April 17, 2012 -- The leading bacterial causes of diarrhea are enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) and Shigella, and vaccines against these pathogens could save the lives of up to a half-million children each year. PATH’s enteric vaccine project is working to accelerate the development of several promising vaccine candidates. We are also looking at innovative ways to make these vaccines as effective, practical, and affordable as possible so they can be easily implemented in the developing world. Read more.
New York global health community comes together to discuss innovative partnerships in R&D
April 12, 2012 -- Research!America, in partnership with the AIDS Vaccine Advocacy Coalition (AVAC), Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative North America (DNDi), Global Alliance for TB Drug Development (TB Alliance), International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI), SUNY Downstate Medical Center, and Treatment Action Group (TAG), hosted a forum, Global Health Research and Development in New York: Fueling Innovation and Saving Lives, on Monday, April 9, at the New York Academy of Sciences. Read more.
New reports look at incentives for global health R&D
April 12, 2012 -- Two groups have released new reports that examine the impact of incentive and innovative financing mechanisms for global health research and development (R&D). The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) has released a comprehensive report that details the use of prizes and competitions by US federal agencies to spur innovation and solve challenges, including global health issues. The report follows the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2010, which granted all federal agencies authority to conduct prize competitions to spur innovation and advance their core missions. Read more.
New project launched in Africa to improve regulatory pathways and deliver better health products
April 11, 2012 -- Developing new medical products is a global enterprise, with research and development (R&D) activities spanning national borders and products being introduced in many countries at the same time. A critical part of this global R&D effort is the regulation of new health tools to help ensure that these products are safe and effective before they reach the populations who need them. In countries around the world, regulatory agencies play a critical role in this process, much like the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does for health products for American consumers. Read more.
Working group releases report on global health R&D financing
April 9, 2012 -- The Consultative Expert Working Group on Research and Development: Financing and Coordination (CEWG) has released its final report on global health research and development (R&D). The CEWG was established by the World Health Assembly (WHA) in 2010 with the primary aim of taking forward the work done by a previous Expert Working Group, as well as deepening the analysis of previous and new proposals for improved global health R&D. Read more.
NIH grant will train young global health researchers
April 5, 2012 -- The Fogarty International Center and other programs at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) are awarding about $20.3 million over the next five years to build a network of US academic institutions to provide early-career scientists, physicians, and other health professionals with a mentored research experience in a developing country. Read more.
USAID releases new scientific integrity policy
April 4, 2012 -- The US Agency for International Development (USAID) has released a new policy that aims to ensure the quality and integrity of the agency's scientific activities. The new report follows a 2009 directive from President Obama that called on all federal agencies to develop policies to safeguard the integrity of scientific activities. Read more.
What's ahead on the Hill
March 30, 2012 -- Foremost on Congress’ plate this week was, of course, the appropriations process. Last week, House Budget Committee Chair Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin) released his fiscal year (FY) 2013 budget resolution, which the House Budget Committee has now approved by a 19-18 vote. The full House passed the resolution yesterday 228-191, making the appropriations process even more complicated, as the legislation conflicts with much of the Budget Control Act (BCA) signed into law last year. Read more.
Investments in TB R&D slowing, report finds
March 30, 2012 -- The annual investment in tuberculosis (TB) research and development (R&D) has slowed markedly, according to a new report from the Treatment Action Group (TAG) and the Stop TB Partnership. According to the report, the world invested $630.4 million in TB R&D in 2010. Read more.
The US Government and research and development for neglected tropical diseases
March 28, 2012 -- One billion people. That’s roughly how many people live in North America and Europe combined. And that’s also roughly how many people have at least one neglected tropical disease (NTD). NTDs, as defined by the World Health Organization, are a set of 17 infectious diseases that severely debilitate or kill people, most of whom are poor, marginalized, or in other ways vulnerable. Read more.
New report analyzes drug and vaccine development for neglected diseases
March 27, 2012 -- Bio Ventures for Global Health (BVGH) has released a new report that analyzes the engagement of different players in global health drug and vaccine development. The report leverages data from BVGH’s Global Health Primer to explore the extent to which different types of organizations participate in drug and vaccine research and development (R&D) for a broad range of neglected tropical diseases. Read more.
Report finds that NIH research funding supported 432,000 jobs last year
March 27, 2012 -- Funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) supported more than 432,000 jobs and generated more than $62.1 billion in economic activity last year, according to a new state-by-state report from the group United for Medical Research. Read more.
Congressional hearing focuses on NIH and NCATS budget
March 22, 2012 -- Leaders from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) recently testified before the US House of Representatives Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies. Both NIH Director Francis Collins and Thomas Insel, acting director of the NIH’s National Center for Advancing Translational Science (NCATS), testified at the hearing on the President’s fiscal year (FY) 2013 budget request, which would fund the NIH and NCATS at FY 2012 levels. Read more.
Aeras receives award for TB vaccine research
March 19, 2012 -- Aeras recently announced that it has received a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation of up to $220 million over five years to conduct research and development (R&D) for new tuberculosis (TB) vaccines. Read more.
DNDi receives award to develop new Chagas treatment
March 14, 2012 -- The Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi) has received an award worth $2.6 million—or 2 million Euros—from the Wellcome Trust to develop a promising drug to treat Chagas disease being tested in adult patients in Bolivia. The award, the first that DNDi has received from the Wellcome Trust, will take the project to the end of Phase II clinical trials. Read more.
NIH and Lilly to create public medicines resource
March 14, 2012 -- The National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the pharmaceutical firm Eli Lilly and Company have announced that they will produce a publicly available resource to profile the effects of thousands of approved and investigational medicines. NIH and Lilly are creating the resource in an effort to make drug development pipelines more productive and efficient. Read more.
The beginning of the end
March 13, 2012 -- Marc LaForce’s career at PATH has been nothing but illustrious. He came to our organization in 2001 to lead a project that had more than a few skeptics. Funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Meningitis Vaccine Project , a partnership between PATH and the World Health Organization (WHO), was tasked with leading R&D for a new vaccine against group A meningococcal meningitis—a particularly deadly strain of meningitis that forms a belt across sub-Saharan Africa. The most significant ask was to deliver the vaccine at a price the countries could afford: less than 50 cents a dose. It was a daunting challenge, but one that Marc and his team did not shy away from. Read more.
USAID’s Shah continues leadership in science and innovation
March 12, 2012 -- Late last week, USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah released his second annual letter, outlining major issues and initiatives that have shaped the agency since its inception 50 years ago. Shah also charts a course forward for USAID, detailing areas that the agency should focus on in the coming years in order to make inroads in international development. One major area of focus is, of course, global health, and Shah rightly emphasizes the role of science, technology, and innovation in meeting USAID’s international health goals. Read more.
Scientists announce HIV/AIDS research findings at Seattle conference
March 12, 2012 -- At the recent 19th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections in Seattle, investigators released new scientific findings on HIV/AIDS regarding new prevention and treatment options. Read more.
New funding for neglected tropical diseases research
March 12, 2012 -- The University of Dundee in Scotland has received about US$15 million—or 10 million British pounds—from the Wellcome Trust and pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) to conduct research on neglected tropical diseases (NTDs), including Chagas disease and African sleeping sickness. Read more.
A technological renaissance for girls and women
March 9, 2012 -- Earlier this week, Women Deliver released its "Women Deliver 50," a list of 50 inspiring ideas and solutions delivering for girls and women around the globe. Launched in celebration of International Women's Day, this list showcases game-changing innovations and technologies that are making advances for girls and women worldwide. Read more.
Women at the forefront of AIDS vaccine research
March 8, 2012 -- The first person in Kenya to speak publicly about her participation in an HIV vaccine trial, in 2001, was a woman. She was a former classmate of mine and also a medical doctor. I was fascinated to learn that this exciting research was happening right at my doorstep. Not long after, I left my position in the emergency room of a local hospital to join the Kenya AIDS Vaccine Initiative. Read more.
CDC opinion piece stresses importance of US support for global health research
March 8, 2012 -- In a post on WBUR’s “Common Health” blog, Kayla Laserson, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)/Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) Field Research Station in Kenya, writes about why US support for global health research is so critical. According to Laserson, global health research and development (R&D) provides her with the “chance to make a difference in the lives of hundreds of millions of people whose health has been neglected for too long." Read more.
GHTC director writes about long-standing US commitment to R&D
March 5, 2012 -- Kaitlin Christenson, coalition director for the GHTC, recently wrote for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s blog Impatient Optimists on the long-standing US Government commitment to global health research and development (R&D), and why this support must continue. In her blog, Christenson writes about a woman named Risper, whom the GHTC met during its trip to Kenya last year. When she became pregnant two years ago, Risper was tested for HIV. When the results came back positive, she was put on life-saving antiretroviral drugs. When her daughter, Sylvia, was born, both mother and child were given a dose of nevirapine in a successful effort to prevent mother-to-child transmission of the virus. Read more.
Health R&D in New York: Extending lives and driving the economy
March 2, 2012 -- “If you want to live longer and healthier than the average American, then come to New York City,” Mayor Mike Bloomberg announced in December 2011. The city’s life expectancy for a 40-year old in 2009 was 82, compared with 80.1 for the rest of the United States. Babies born in New York City in 2009 will see an increase of nearly three years on their life spans, versus 1.5 years nationwide. With the leadership of the mayor, who has an outstanding track record on public health leadership, and the dedication of its health commissioners, New York City has significantly brought down its rates of tuberculosis (TB) and stabilized the growth of new HIV infections over the last two decades. Read more.
New child-friendly Chagas disease treatment approved for registration
March 1, 2012 -- Brazil’s National Health Surveillance Agency recently granted registration of a new child-friendly dosage of benznidazole, a treatment for Chagas disease that was developed through a partnership between the Pernambuco State Pharmaceutical Laboratory (LAFEPE) of Brazil and the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi). Read more.
GHTC releases video on global health R&D in Kenya
March 1, 2012 -- The GHTC has released a new video that tells the story of global health research and development (R&D), the impact R&D has in the field, and the important role the US Government plays in supporting research. The video shows the breadth of US-supported R&D in Kenya, which hosts research projects supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Institutes of Health, the Department of Defense, and the US Agency for International Development. Read more.
US senator on global health: ‘Achievable stuff’
February 29, 2012 -- For those in the global health world—and there are many in the nation’s capital—one common question is why in tight budgetary times should Congress support spending on research and development (R&D) to fight diseases around the world. At a congressional briefing today put on by the Global Health Technologies Coalition (GHTC), a group that represents 40 global health research and advocacy organizations, several experts gave a variety of answers to that question. Read more.
Global Health R&D: A Smart Investment for the US
February 29, 2012 -- After attending GHTC’s annual briefing yesterday, it is nearly impossible, and arguably fully impossible, to come up with any reason as to why the US should not invest in global health research and development (R&D). The four panelists at the event, representing a range of US agencies and global health organizations, were full of countless examples that show what a remarkable difference US leadership in global health R&D has made around the world. Read more.
GHTC’s annual policy report: How the US can help sustain incredible progress in global health research
February 28, 2012 -- The GHTC has released our third annual policy report. This year’s report will continue the tradition for which we’ve become known in the world of global health research and product development—releasing recommendations for how US policymakers can continue to advance innovation and save lives around the world. Read more.
PBS spotlights cost savings of preventing NTDs
February 23, 2012 -- Following the recent announcement that a group of international partners is increasing its investment in the fight against neglected tropical diseases (NTDs), PBS’s The Rundown blog interviewed two officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on the impact NTDs have on the developing world and why more work needs to be done to combat them. In the video post, Dr. Mark Eberhardt, who specializes in NTDs, and Dr. Stephen Cochi, a measles and polio specialist, describe the effects NTDs have on society and cost savings that would occur if NTDs were eradicated. Read more.
OWH’s treatment for kala-azar gains registration in Nepal
February 22, 2012 -- Today we are thrilled to announce that our antibiotic Paromomycin Intramuscular Injection (PMIM), developed to treat visceral leishmaniasis (VL or kala-azar), has been registered by the government of Nepal. This is the second registration for PMIM in South Asia. It was previously registered with the government of India and added to the National Lists of Essential Medicines of India, Nepal, and Bangladesh. It was also added to the World Health Organization’s Model List of Essential Medicines. Read more.
MMV announces delivery of 100 million treatments of child-friendly malaria drug
February 22, 2012 -- This week, GHTC member Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV) announced that more than 100 million child-friendly malaria treatments have been delivered to 39 malaria-endemic countries since 2009. MMV partnered with Novartis in 2003 to begin research and development (R&D) for a drug to address the need for more pediatric medicines to treat the disease. In Africa, children are disproportionately affected by the disease with 86 percentof deaths from malaria occurring in children under the age of five. The development of this child-friendly drug, called Coartem® Dispersible, represents a key success story in R&D for malaria. Read more.
Global health R&D in New Jersey: Building on strong private-sector investment
February 21, 2012 -- When people think of hotspots for global health R&D, the state of New Jersey may not immediately come to mind. But it should. Despite ranking eleventh in population size, New Jersey ranks third in R&D investment among states, thanks mainly to robust private-sector investment. Health R&D is a pillar of New Jersey’s economy and is critical to economic growth in the state. Despite the current economic climate, R&D spending in New Jersey increased by 11.4 percent in 2010, and global R&D spending was up by $1.4 billion, according to a 2011 report by the Healthcare Institute of New Jersey, implying even more future economic benefits for the state. Read more.
Fighting TB in India, one lab at a time
February 17, 2012 -- India is a country that changes dramatically from place to place, something I experienced firsthand while on a two week trip there this past fall. One day I was listening in on a mothers’ group meeting in one of the poorest villages in Uttar Pradesh state, and less than 24 hours later I was standing in one of the world’s most technologically advanced airports in Hyderabad—often referred to as the ‘Silicon Valley’ of India. It was during this leg of my journey where I was further convinced of the need for sustained investment in research and development. Read more.
Science Speaks highlights CDC’s work in global health R&D
February 17, 2012 -- Science Speaks, the Center for Global Healthy Policy blog on HIV and tuberculosis (TB) news, recently started a series of posts to profile the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the important role the agency plays in HIV and TB research and development (R&D). For the first post in the series, Science Speaks interviewed Kayla Laserson, director of the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI)/CDC Field Research Station, about the research that KEMRI/CDC is doing to address HIV, malaria, TB, and other emerging infectious diseases. Read more.
Open innovation spurs global health R&D
February 16, 2012 -- As pharmaceutical companies increase their engagement in global health research in various ways, there is more and more talk of “open innovation.” For research and development (R&D) purposes, open innovation involves pharmaceutical companies sharing data, sometimes entire libraries of information, with the public so researchers can use this information to create candidates for drugs and other products. This type of data sharing can help spur R&D for neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) primarily found in the developing world, which have not traditionally garnered large investments from pharmaceutical companies. As Nature reports, most recently the World Health Organization (WHO) included open innovation in its road map to control NTDs, with 11 companies offering to share their intellectual property. Read more.
Global health R&D: A smart investment for Illinois
February 14, 2012 -- “The world is interconnected, and that demands an integrated approach to global health,” President Obama stated when he announced the US Global Health Initiative on May 5, 2009. His former neighbors in Illinois agree. More than 50 percent of Illinoisans think more about global health today than they did five years ago, and for good reason. In addition to innumerable health benefits worldwide, global health research and development (R&D) has an important economic impact on the state of Illinois. Read more.
President Obama releases fiscal year 2013 budget
February 14, 2012 -- Yesterday, President Obama sent Congress his $3.8 trillion budget proposal for fiscal year (FY) 2013. While the majority of increased spending would be allocated to domestic programs, there are several decreases in global health spending compared with FY 2012 levels. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation’s global health tracker, among the notable decreases the White House has proposed are cuts to the Global Health Initiative (GHI), most global health accounts at the US Agency for International Development (USAID), as well as some funding levels at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Department of Defense (DoD). All of these agencies play a critical role in supporting global health research and development (R&D) for new health products such as vaccines, drugs, diagnostic tools, and microbicides. Read more.
Gates Foundation announces grants for research to develop new tools to diagnose TB
February 9, 2012 -- The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation announced that it is investing $7.7 million in ten new grants for research to diagnose tuberculosis (TB) in developing countries. Currently, laboratory-based technology is used to diagnose the disease, but this is often problematic due to lack of access for some patients, the length of time it takes for results to be reported, and the high number of active TB cases that it fails to detect. The grants will help promote the research that is needed to develop new low-cost, simple-to-use tools to more efficiently and accurately diagnose TB. Read more.
Pharmaceutical companies more involved in global health
February 9, 2012 -- Pharmaceutical companies are increasingly engaging in global health, and have recently joined efforts to conduct research and development (R&D) for more affordable global health products. For example, over the past two decades, prices for drugs, vaccines, and other health products from large pharmaceutical companies have decreased. This has mainly been due to the fact that pharmaceutical companies have seen the benefits of developing health products at prices affordable to low- and middle-income countries, according to a recent article in the Harvard College Global Health Review (HCGHR). Read more.
Patents for humanity
February 9, 2012 -- Sweeping revolutions in technology continue to fundamentally redefine the way we connect with one another and interact with the world. Today, an entrepreneur can do business with a remote village across an ocean just as quickly as a student in Boston can video-conference with a professor in Beijing. Political rallies can be organized by the click of a button, while gripping images of that rally can be shared across continents with a single tweet. Read more.
Global health research in Maryland: Health is wealth
February 7, 2012 -- Maryland is home to two federal health powerhouses, the Food and Drug Administration and the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the world’s largest medical research institute. Together, they employ 25,000 people. Silver Spring’s Walter Reed Army Institute of Research is engaged in global health research to protect our military personnel from infectious threats they may encounter in the field. And Marylanders see the direct benefits of that research: 82 percent recognize that American civilians benefit from the health research conducted by the military, according to a poll commissioned by Research!America. Read more.
Drug candidate could treat two neglected diseases
February 7, 2012 -- Researchers at the University of Dundee in the United Kingdom are investigating whether fexinidazole, a treatment undergoing Phase I trials for the neglected tropical disease (NTD) African sleeping sickness, might also be a candidate for treating the NTD leishmaniasis. Read more.
Progress announced in TB vaccine and drug development
February 1, 2012 -- GHTC member Aeras has announced a collaboration with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), in order to work on a clinical trial for a new vaccine to prevent tuberculosis (TB). The vaccine was jointly developed by Aeras and Crucell, a biopharmaceutical company from the Netherlands. The clinical trial for the vaccine began in October 2010, in Kenya, South Africa, and Mozambique, and is testing the safety and efficacy of the vaccine candidate in HIV-negative infants. Read more.
Groups pledge to invest in R&D to tackle NTDs by 2020
January 31, 2012 -- At high-level event in London, a group of international partners announced support for a new plan to address 10 neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) by 2020. At the event, ‘United to Combat Neglected Tropical Diseases’, several organizations endorsed the World Health Organization’s (WHO) NTD 2020 Roadmap, which aims to develop new treatments and other health tools to eliminate or control targeted NTDs by 2020. Partners include 13 pharmaceutical companies, the Word Bank, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and GHTC member the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative. The governments of the United States, the United Kingdom, and the United Arab Emirates also pledged support. Read more.
CDC researcher highlights science and research in the fight against TB
January 27, 2012 -- Kevin Cain, chief of the tuberculosis (TB) branch for the Kenya Medical Research Institute/Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KEMRI/CDC) partnership, wrote a blog post this week for Global Health Frontline News about the importance of research to identify new ways to treat and prevent the disease. Read more.
US Government is increasingly funding infectious disease research
January 27, 2012 -- The Washington Post recently examined how since 2006, the US Government has been increasing its support for research and development (R&D) for infectious diseases. US Government spending on research for some infectious diseases has increased more than 660 percent, from $54 million in 2006 to $415 million last year. This research has gone to efforts to develop new vaccines, antibiotics, and other treatments. Read more.
Sabin announces start of trial for first human hookworm vaccine
January 23, 2012 -- A GHTC member announced last week that a clinical trial for the first-ever hookworm vaccine is now underway. The Sabin Vaccine Institute started a Phase I clinical trial of the Na-GST-1 antigen in Brazil, a country with high rates of hookworm infection. The trial is conducted through a vaccine product development partnership (PDP) headquartered at Sabin, which also involves the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation of the Brazilian Ministry of Health. The trial will involve 102 adults, who will each receive three injections over the course of four months. After receiving all three injections, each volunteer will be monitored for safe responses to the vaccine, and researchers will analyze the immune responses in each recipient. Pending positive results from this trial, Sabin will next conduct a trial to test the vaccine in children—the age group that will ultimately be targeted to receive the vaccine. Read more.
GHTC member argues against cuts to vital military medical research
January 23, 2012 -- GHTC member the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (ASTMH) recently wrote an opinion piece for the Atlantic, urging against cuts to critical medical research that is protecting American troops from tropical diseases. Peter Hotez and James Kazura—the past and current presidents of ASTMH, respectively—highlight the cost-effective programs at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR) that have been saving lives for decades. According to the authors, research supported by WRAIR continues to help soldiers as they travel around the world and come into contact with dangerous tropical disease threats. Read more.
Aeras to partner with leading Chinese biotechnology company to develop TB vaccines
January 19, 2012 -- GHTC member Aeras will begin collaborating with the leading Chinese biotechnology corporation China National Biotech Group (CNBG) to develop a new vaccine to fight tuberculosis (TB). This announcement comes shortly after several cases of TB resistant to all first- and second-line drugs were reported in India. Read more.
GHTC member seeks projects to propel malaria drug discovery
January 18, 2012 -- Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV)—a GHTC member working to discover, develop, and deliver antimalarial drugs—has issued a call for proposals to help spur malaria drug discovery. The organization will award up to ten $50,000 MMV Challenge Grants in the first quarter of 2012. Read more.
First-ever Health and Human Services global health strategy includes goal to catalyze research and innovation
January 11, 2012 -- Last week, the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released its first-ever global health strategy to help the agency increasingly engage in efforts to improve the health and well-being of people around the world. While emphasizing the need for this new strategy, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said that “today, we can no longer separate global health from America’s health…We need to look beyond our borders to improve health inside our country.” Read more.
GHTC member launches campaign to eliminate seven major neglected diseases
January 11, 2012 -- This week, GHTC member the Sabin Vaccine Institute launched END7, a new campaign dedicated to eliminating seven major neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) as a public health threat by the end of 2020. END 7 is run by the Global Network for Neglected Tropical Diseases, an initiative of the Sabin Vaccine Institute. It aims to raise awareness about the threat of NTDs and secure funds to help distribute medicine and provide treatment in the poorest communities. Read more.
FDA launches new blog
January 11, 2012 -- The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently launched a new blog, called FDAVoice. The blog will feature posts by FDA's senior leadership and staff stationed in the United States and abroad in an effort to share news, announcements, and other information about the work done at the FDA. Read more.
Science names HIV prevention trial as the 2011 breakthrough of the year
January 4, 2012 -- The journal Science recently named an HIV prevention trial as the 2011 breakthrough of the year. The HPTN 052 clinical trial, sponsored by the National Institute of Health's (NIH) National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID), found that if HIV-positive heterosexual individuals begin taking antiretroviral drugs when their immune systems are relatively healthy, as opposed to delaying therapy until the disease has advanced, they are 96 percent less likely to transmit the virus to their uninfected partners. Read more.
Appropriations agreement includes funding for global health, new NIH center
December 22, 2011 -- A joint House-Senate Conference Committee recently finalized an appropriations bill for Fiscal Year (FY) 2012 that includes funding for global health programs through the State Department, US Agency for International Development (USAID), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Read more.
WHO group to recommend treaty to fund global health R&D
December 20, 2011 -- A World Health Organization (WHO) working group has narrowed proposals under consideration for ways to fund research and development (R&D) for diseases that predominately affect impoverished populations. Read more.
GHTC member releases video highlighting product development partnerships
December 15, 2011 -- After hosting a Congressional briefing last month to highlight the critical role of product development partnerships (PDPs) in global health research, GHTC member Research!America has released a video to show footage from the event. PDPs—which receive funding from the public, private and philanthropic sector—play a critical role in producing new lifesaving tools to help people around the world. Read more.
Malaria report reveals a decline in global deaths, shows a need to continue funding for research
December 13, 2011 -- A report released this week shows that while global malaria deaths are on the decline, there is still a critical need to invest in the research and development for new prevention and treatment tools that will help protect this fragile progress against the disease. Read more.
GHTC members author op-ed on need to sustain funding for global health R&D
December 13, 2011 -- In an op-ed in The Hill’s Congress Blog, GHTC Director Kaitlin Christensen, along with coalition members Jim Connolly, president and CEO of Aeras, and Mel Spigelman, president and CEO of the TB Alliance, call for sustained support for global health research and development funding (R&D) in response to a report released last week that shows this critical funding is declining. Read more.
TIME magazine names malaria vaccine trial results a Top Breakthrough of 2011
December 12, 2011 -- TIME Magazine recognized the results from a malaria vaccine trial—conducted by GHTC member PATH through its Malaria Vaccine Initiative (MVI) and GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals, with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to PATH—as one of the top ten medical breakthroughs of 2011. Read more.
Report tracking global health funding for neglected disease R&D released
December 9, 2011 -- Today, Policy Cures released the fourth annual G-FINDER report, which tracks the trends in the levels of global funding in 2010 to develop new drugs, vaccines, diagnostics and other tools for 31 neglected diseases. Read more.
World AIDS Day: US leaders celebrate research progress
December 2, 2011 -- On December 1, President Obama celebrated World AIDS Day by vowing to step up the role of the United States in the fight against the disease. At an event where former Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush joined him by satellite, he announced several new commitments to help drive the global effort to fight HIV/AIDS as he stressed his belief that the world will soon achieve an AIDS-free generation. Read more.
HIV prevention trial modified; Sponsor remains committed to HIV prevention research
November 29, 2011 -- The Microbicide Trials Network (MTN) has announced that a clinical trial to determine whether using daily antiretrovirals and a vaginal gel can help prevent HIV will be modified after researchers concluded the gel was not effective among study participants. Read more.
Top five ways for pharmaceutical industry to address neglected diseases
November 29, 2011 -- In a blog post on Forbes, contributor Sarika Bansal suggests the top five ways that pharmaceutical companies can contribute to drug development for neglected diseases. Read more.
Groups offer proposal to improve funding for global health R&D
November 29, 2011 -- Knowledge Ecology International (KEI), Doctors without Borders, and the Third World Network recently released a proposal to a World Health Organization (WHO) working group on funding global health research and development (R&D). Read more.
GHTC Director highlights progress in developing new interventions for HIV/AIDS
November 21, 2011 -- GHTC director Kaitlin Christenson recently wrote a post for the ONE blog about four game-changing HIV/AIDS treatments and the leadership from the US government that has helped foster these critical research breakthroughs. Read more.
NIH working to enhance treatment options for global health diseases
November 17, 2011 -- The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is launching a new set of projects through its Therapeutics for Rare and Neglected Diseases (TRND) program to develop drugs to treat rare and neglected diseases. Read more.
GHTC member writes about need for research to reach an AIDS-free generation
November 17, 2011 -- Mitchell Warren, executive director of AVAC and founding member of GHTC, recently wrote an op-ed for The Hill’s “Congress Blog” in reaction to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s speech at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), during which she announced that the United States will prioritize achieving an AIDS-free generation. Read more.
World Pneumonia Day marked by celebrating achievements in fight against disease
November 15, 2011 -- This weekend, health agencies marked World Pneumonia Day by celebrating the progress made toward preventing and treating the disease, the leading cause of death for children under age five. Read more.
GHTC member receives WHO prequalification for cholera vaccine
November 14, 2011 -- GHTC member the International Vaccine Institute (IVI) announced that Shanchol™, a recently developed cholera vaccine, has received World Health Organization (WHO) prequalification. Read more.
Clinton highlights need for research and science in the fight against AIDS
November 11, 2011 -- In a speech at the National Institutes for Health (NIH) on the HIV/AIDS pandemic, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton declared that US efforts in areas like research have “helped set the stage for the historic opportunity the world has today−to change the course of this pandemic and usher in an AIDS-free generation.” Read more.
As report shows funding for TB research is falling, groups collaborate to accelerate new drugs
November 10, 2011 -- According to a new report from GHTC member the Treatment Action Group (TAG) and the Stop TB Partnership, funding levels for tuberculosis (TB) research and development (R&D) dropped by 0.3 percent between 2009 and 2010. Read more.
GHTC members launch new project to help fight neglected disease
November 8, 2011 -- GHTC members the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi) and OneWorld Health (OWH) are part of a consortium formed to investigate new treatments to fight the neglected disease visceral leishmaniasis (VL). Read more.
New initiative fosters innovation to prevent preterm births
November 8, 2011 -- The Global Alliance to Prevent Prematurity and Stillborn (GAPPS) has issued a call for a grant program it is rolling out to help spur innovative new ideas to prevent preterm births. Read more.
GHTC video series highlights why Americans should care about global health innovation
November 7, 2011 -- Today, the GlobalPost’s “Global Pulse” blog posted a series of video interviews that the GHTC conducted with prominent Americans and leading US health officials about why Americans should care about global health and research. Read more.
Bill Gates pushes transaction tax to help raise money to fight global poverty, improve global health
November 7, 2011 -- This week, Bill Gates is expected to urge the Group of 20 (G20) to adopt a transaction tax on the trading of bonds and shares in order to raise nearly $50 billion a year to fight global poverty, including $11 billion for health aid projects. Read more.
Clinton to focus on HIV/AIDS, research for new tools in speech at NIH
November 3, 2011 -- This week, the State Department announced that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will deliver a speech on ending the HIV/AIDS pandemic on Tuesday, Nov. 8, at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Read more.
USAID Celebrates 50th Anniversary
November 3, 2011 -- This week, the US Agency for International Development (USAID) celebrates 50 years of leadership and expertise in addressing development challenges to improve lives across the globe. Read more.
New partnership to support innovative research and development
October 28, 2011 -- The Chinese Government’s Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation announced a new partnership to focus on innovative research and support the manufacturing of new global health products. Read more.
NIH aims to accelerate drug development
October 26, 2011 -- Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), announced today that the agency aims to eliminate bottlenecks in drug development that can slow the process of getting products to market. Read more.
Investing in high-impact, low-cost innovations that save lives
October 25, 2011 -- In a time of fiscal constraints, investing in simple, practical, and affordable health technologies is money well spent in the effort to solve global health challenges. Read more.
Intellectual property group and WHO to launch new database to accelerate research for neglected diseases
October 24, 2011 --The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and the World Health Organization (WHO) recently announced a partnership to launch a new research and development (R&D) database to share intellectual property for neglected disease licenses. Read more.
Promising results from malaria vaccine trial
October 21, 2011 -- The first results from a large-scale Phase 3 trial of the RTS,S malaria vaccine published online in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), show the vaccine candidate provides young African children with significant protection against clinical and severe malaria with an acceptable safety and tolerability profile. Read more.
What's ahead on the Hill
October 21, 2011 - -- While GHTC staff is in Kenya documenting the impact of global health research and technologies, back in Washington, DC, Congress continues to debate how to keep the government running in the midst of a rollercoaster appropriations process. Read more.
Organizations fight cuts to foreign aid
October 20, 2011 -- After $8 billion was cut from the US State Department and other international programs earlier this year, 200 nongovernmental organizations have joined together to push for an end to further funding cuts. Read more.
Research needed to overcome shortcomings in TB tools
October 17, 2011 -- There is no effective TB vaccine beyond childhood. The most common TB diagnostic tool was developed in the 1880s and fails to detect the bacterium in half of the cases. And the drugs needed to treat TB are also ancient – the most recent ones were developed more than 40 years ago. Read more.
Children in need of better diagnostics
October 12, 2011 -- Children in Kenya deserve the same access to modern and effective diagnostics and treatment that I’ve has as a diabetic in the US. Increased support for neglected disease research can provide them with that. Read more.
Tuberculosis rates on the decline
October 14, 2011 -- According to the World Health Organization (WHO), both the number of people contracting the disease and the rate of deaths across the globe are trending downward. Read more.
Q&A: US Global Health Work in Kenya with Kemy Monahan
October 12, 2011 --On Tuesday, after seeing a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) research site in the Kibera slum, she talked to GHTC's Breakthroughs blog on site about her impressions of the US global health work in Kenya, the importance of research, and the critical need now to make the case to Congress for investing in global health. Read more.
CDC in Kibera: Closely monitoring diseases, outbreaks in a slum
October 11, 2011 --Inside a large room at the US Embassy in Nairobi, Robert F. Breiman, M.D., the country dirctor for the Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention (CDC) in Kenya, explained a portion of the US-funded research in Nairobi's largest slum in Kenya. Read more.
Global Health R&D with USAID's Alex Dehgan
October 11, 2011 --Dr. Alex Dehgan talked with GHTC's Breakthroughs blog on a number of issues, including a NASA-USAID innovation for remote areas and the promise of several products in the pipeline that could save many lives. Read more.
FDA Releases Plan to Promote Biomedical Innovation
October 6, 2011 -- This week, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) unveiled a new plan to spur biomedical action. FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg announced that the plan—called “Driving Biomedical Innovation: Initiatives for Improving Products for Patients”—addresses the changing scientific landscape and will help alleviate concerns about the medical product development pipeline slowing down. Read more.
GHTC member reveals results from pivotal contraceptive study
October 5, 2011 -- GHTC member CONRAD, a nonprofit reproductive health research organization, recently announced the results of its SILCS Diaphragm contraceptive effectiveness study. Read more.
USAID releases five-year strategy
October 1, 2011 -- The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) recently released its five-year strategy, or Policy Framework for 2011-2015, which includes several global development priorities such as global health and innovation for new health tools. Read more.
Senate bill cuts funding for HIV research
September 27, 2011 -- An important program in global health research would take a hit in the Senate version of the Department of Defense Appropriations Bill for fiscal year (FY) 2012). The bill would cut military HIV/AIDS research by $16 million. Read more.
Senate committees consider spending bills that impact global health programs
September 23, 2011 -- This week, Senate committees considered two appropriations bills that impact key agencies and global health programs. Both bills funded most global health accounts at lower levels than President Obama’s requests, which is likely to have implications for global health research and development (R&D). Read more.
GHTC members urge Congress to preserve international affairs budget
September 21, 2011 -- GHTC members were among the 129 organizations that placed an “Open Letter to Congress” in the September 20th edition of Roll Call urging members of Congress to oppose further cuts to the International Affairs Budget. Read more.
Op-ed argues the world is ‘at a tipping point’ in fight against AIDS
September 19, 2011 -- An op-ed in the Huffington Post argues that we are finally within reach of eliminating HIV/AIDS across the globe, thanks in large part to advances in research and development (R&D). Read more.
‘Contagion’ shows need for global health research
September 15, 2011 -- The movie “Contagion” may be fiction, but it tells a very real story about the threat of infectious diseases and the need for global health research. Read more.
NEJM article highlights need for innovation to develop new medical devices
September 15, 2011 -- The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) recently featured a perspective piece that outlines some current obstacles to the use of medical devices in developing countries and urges the use of greater innovation to help resolve these challenges. Read more.
Berman releases proposal to reform US foreign aid that includes global health priorities
September 13, 2011 -- Last week, Rep. Howard Berman (D-CA), ranking member on the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, released a proposal to reform and modernize US foreign assistance programs. Read more.
GHTC Director speaks with Nature Medicine about how budget cuts could hurt global health funding
September 13, 2011 -- In its September issue, Nature Medicine published an article about the implications the Budget Control Act holds for global health funding. Read more.
FDA receives funding boost in Senate bill
September 12, 2011 -- While many agencies are bracing themselves for deep cuts in this tough budget environment, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) received one of the only increases in funding in the Senate’s agriculture appropriations bill. Read more.
New research offers promising developments in search for a more effective TB vaccine
September 8, 2011 -- Tuberculosis (TB) is one of the top ten causes of death worldwide. One of the biggest obstacles in the fight against TB is that BCG, the only vaccine currently available, is only partially effective. Read more.
Growing momentum in global health
September 7, 2011 -- Although best known for its role in regulating the products that Americans use to protect their health, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has long recognized the importance of improving public health. Read more.
Military hospital plays critical role in research and development in fight against malaria
September 6, 2011 -- Walter Reed Army Medical Center has played a leading role in infectious disease research and development (R&D). The center's Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR) is one of the world's premier research centers for infectious diseases, especially in the fight against malaria. Read more.
HHS revises rules for financial conflicts of interest in research
September 2, 2011 -- The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has unveiled new rules to increase transparency and reduce financial conflicts of interest for federally funded researchers. Read more.
GHTC director outlines why Congress must preserve critical funding for global health research
September 2, 2011 -- The Global Health Technologies Coalition (GHTC) Director Kaitlin Christenson spoke with BIO Ventures for Global Health (BVGH) about how the recent debt reduction legislation could hurt agencies that play a critical role in global health, including the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Read more.
Cuts to global health funding in 2012 budget are “deeply” concerning, blog says
August 26, 2011 -- “I am deeply concerned about the drastic cuts to global health funding proposed by the US House of Representatives for the fiscal year 2012 budget,” Christopher J. Elias, president and CEO of PATH, writes in a Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network (MFAN) blog post. Read more.
Innovations needed to save mothers and children worldwide, blog says
August 26, 2011 -- “Six hundred grant proposals recently poured into the US Agency for International Development (USAID) from around the globe. Each had the potential to become the next breakthrough in maternal and infant health—the ultimate aspiration of an international partnership called Saving Lives at Birth: A Grand Challenge in Development,” USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah writes in a Huffington Post blog. Read more.
FDA releases plan for regulatory science
August 24, 2011 -- The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently released a “Strategic Plan for Regulatory Science,” calling for a modernization of the science used in developing and evaluating health and food products. Read more.
Researchers isolate potent antibodies against HIV
August 23, 2011 -- A team of researchers with the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI), the Scripps Research Institute, the biotechnology company Theraclone Sciences, and Monogram Biosciences Inc. have isolated 17 novel antibodies capable of neutralizing a broad spectrum of variants of HIV. Read more.
IDRI, USAID launch new partnership to develop a malaria vaccine
August 17, 2011 -- The Infectious Disease Research Institute (IDRI) has announced a new collaboration with the US Agency for International Development (USAID), focused on support for work with the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR) to develop a new vaccine against malaria. Read more.
Innovative and collaborative partnerships key to drug development, blog says
August 17, 2011 -- For some neglected diseases of the developing world, the only available treatments are “toxic and painful to administer,” Bernard Pecoul, head of the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative, writes in a new blog post. Read more.
HIV/AIDS advocates call on federal officials to take action on new prevention tool
August 17, 2011 -- A coalition of seven HIV/AIDS organizations are calling on federal health officials to increase support for a possible new prevention method called pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP. Read more.
Scientists expand scope of HIV vaccine research
August 16, 2011 -- The world’s largest ongoing HIV vaccine study has been expanded to consider multiple ways a vaccine might boost immune response to the virus. Read more.
Deal reached to inspect drugs made overseas
August 16, 2011 -- The US Government and the generic drug industry have reached an agreement that will lead to routine inspections of overseas pharmaceutical plants. Read more.
After the budget showdown, where does global health stand?
August 12, 2011 -- Even in these constrained economic times, it is critical to support global health and development programs that save lives and help grow the economies of developing nations—while at the same time promote American values, economic growth, and national security. Read more.
New TB vaccine enters clinical trials in Africa
August 12, 2011 -- Aeras and the Oxford-Emergent Tuberculosis Consortium (OETC) have announced the start of a proof-of-concept clinical trial of a new tuberculosis (TB) vaccine that involves people living with HIV. Read more.
New fact sheets available on the CDC, Georgia and global health R&D
August 12, 2011 -- Research!America has just released new fact sheets on global health research and development (R&D) in Georgia and at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Read more.
Results for Development launches blog series on global health partnerships
August 8, 2011 -- The Results for Development Institute (R4D) recently launched a new series on product-development partnerships (PDPs) on its Center for Global Health Policy Assessment blog. Read more.
Merck enters partnership to develop childhood vaccines
August 8, 2011 -- The pharmaceutical company Merck recently announced that it will partner with the Serum Institute of India to develop a children’s pneumococcal vaccine for use in emerging and developing countries. Read more.
Faster TB test under development, researchers say
August 5, 2011 -- Scientists at the International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB) in India are working on a new tool that can diagnose tuberculosis (TB) using a fast, inexpensive urine test. Read more.
The FDA plays a “proactive role in promoting innovation,” Commissioner writes
August 2, 2011 -- Despite “common criticisms” that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) “impedes innovation by being slow and bureaucratic, we actually play a proactive role in promoting innovation by ushering new products through the approval process and to market—while making sure they meet the standards of safety and effectiveness that have served the American people well,” FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg writes in a Wall Street Journal opinion piece. Read more.
Saving lives at birth: Innovators awarded for new technologies for women and children
August 1, 2011 -- About $14 million has been awarded to innovations aimed at saving the lives of mothers and children around the world during a landmark event hosted by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Rajiv Shah, administrator for the US Agency for International Development (USAID). Read more.
Senator Kerry introduces bill to support the US Department of State and US diplomacy
July 28, 2011 -- Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chair John Kerry (D-MA) has introduced the Foreign Relations Authorization Act for fiscal years 2012-2013. Read more.
House subcommittee releases FY2012 appropriations bill, cuts global health funding
July 27, 2011 -- The House Appropriations State and Foreign Operations Subcommittee recently released its fiscal year (FY) 2012 appropriations bill, which includes cuts for many programs such as global health. Read more.
Innovation is a key component of reforming foreign aid, blog says
July 27, 2011 -- Last month US Representatives Albio Sires (D-NJ) and Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL) introduced a new bill, the 21st Century Global Health Technology Act, Aaron Emmel, a government affairs officer at PATH, writes in a Modernizing Foreign Assistance (MFAN) blog post. Read more.
Researchers call on Congress to fund research at NIH
July 27, 2011 -- A coalition of researchers and other stakeholders recently wrote to key members of Congress, urging them to continue funding scientific research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Read more.
Congressman urges reform of US foreign aid
July 26, 2011 -- In a new post on the Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network (MFAN) blog, House Foreign Affairs Committee Ranking Member Howard Berman calls on his colleagues to work together to rewrite the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961. Read more.
Science and innovation are crucial to achieving development goals, editorial says
July 22, 2011 -- “Throughout history, some of the greatest successes in development have come from extending the reach of scientific and technological breakthroughs to those who lacked access. We must continue to harness the ingenuity of the world’s top researchers and scientific leaders to achieve development goals,” Rajiv Shah, administrator for the US Agency for International Development (USAID), writes in a Science editorial. Read more.
Video highlights new tools to fight malaria
July 21, 2011 -- Malaria No More United Kingdom has released a new video on new vaccines, drugs, diagnostics, insecticides, and other tools being developed to fight malaria. Read more.
Funding shortfall could hinder scientific advances in HIV/AIDS
July 21, 2011 -- Earlier this week at the sixth International AIDS Society (IAS) Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment, and Prevention, scientists said that increased support is needed for medical research to develop revolutionary new tools to roll back the disease. Read more.
Group launches new pediatric HIV/AIDS drug development program
July 19, 2011 -- The Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi) recently announced the launch of a new drug development program to address the treatment needs of children living with HIV/AIDS. Read more.
HIV/AIDS conference opens with a focus on new research
July 19, 2011 -- The sixth International AIDS Society (IAS) Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment, and Prevention opened in Rome earlier this week with a focus on new studies in HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment. Read more.
Scientists closer to developing new meningitis vaccine
July 19, 2011 -- New research could bring scientists one step closer to developing a vaccine that protects against hundreds of strains of meningococcus B, the most common cause of bacterial meningitis. Read more.
USAID and National Science Foundation launch global science program
July 18, 2011 -- The US Agency for International Development (USAID) and the National Science Foundation (NSF) recently launched an international joint initiative to address global development challenges. Read more.
Two studies find that oral antiretrovirals can reduce the risk of HIV
July 13, 2011 -- Results announced today from two studies show that a daily antiretroviral (ARV) pill taken by people who do not have HIV can reduce their risk of transmission by up to 73 percent. Read more.
Groups announce remarkable progress against neglected tropical diseases
July 13, 2011 -- Although many Americans have never heard of diseases such as sleeping sickness or river blindness, they are among the most common infections of the world’s poor. Read more.
Medicines Patent Pool announces HIV/AIDS drug agreement
July 12, 2011 -- The Medicines Patent Pool and pharmaceutical company Gilead Sciences have announced a breakthrough license agreement that will allow the production of HIV/AIDS medicines at lower cost and in easier-to-use formulations, making them more accessible to developing countries. Read more.
Aid innovation is helping to develop new treatments and save lives
July 12, 2011 -- Although innovation “isn’t necessarily a word most people associate with aid programs,” one recent example of an innovative financing program is “helping to develop new treatments for diseases, which kill millions in Africa, Asia, and Latin America,” Charles Kenny of the New America Foundation and the Center for Global Development writes in a CNN blog post. Read more.
New partnerships are leading to a renaissance in global health research, blog post says
July 8, 2011 -- “Over the last few years, we’ve seen an explosion of discoveries in the field of global health research and development,” Jennifer Chow, director of global health R&D and public health advocacy at Research!America, writes in a Research Media blog post. Read more.
NIH director lays out vision for new center
July 8, 2011 -- In a new commentary piece in the journal Science Translational Medicine, National Institutes of Health Director Francis Collins provides a detailed description of the scientific goals and functions of the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS). Read more.
Partnership advances sleeping sickness drug candidate
July 6, 2011 -- The Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi), Anacor Pharmaceuticals, and SCYNEXIS Inc. have announced the successful completion of pre-clinical studies for a new oral drug candidate to combat human African trypanosomiasis (HAT), also known as sleeping sickness. Read more.
Report highlights Defense Department's contributions to global health
July 6, 2011 -- A new report from the Center for Strategic and International Studies has found that the Department of Defense (DoD) overseas medical research laboratories fundamentally contribute to US military readiness while also helping to develop lifesaving global health products. Read more.
Global drug R&D spending fell in 2010
July 6, 2011 -- The global drug industry cut its research spending for the first time ever in 2010 following decades of increases, and the pace of decline is predicted to quicken this year. Read more.
Conference highlights private sector’s role in global health
July 1, 2011 -- Over the past 30 years, technology has revolutionized the health care available to patients in the developed world. Read more.
WHO prequalifies typhoid vaccine
June 30, 2011 -- The pharmaceutical company Sanofi Pasteur recently announced that the World Health Organization (WHO) has granted pre-qualification to its typhoid vaccine, making Typhim Vi the first WHO pre-qualified vaccine for typhoid. Read more.
Funding increase for malaria research leads to largest pipeline of new tools
June 29, 2011 -- A new analysis of progress in the global fight against malaria has found a four-fold increase in annual funding for malaria research and development (R&D) in just 16 years—from $121 million in 1993 to $612 million in 2009, with a particularly rapid increase since 2004. Read more.
Public-private partnerships critical to develop new HIV prevention tools, opinion piece says
June 24, 2011 -- “Promising research in HIV prevention is taking center stage, ushering in a new era in the fight against HIV and AIDS, and we have public-private partnerships to thank for many of the recent achievements,” Ward Cates, president of research at Family Health International, Director of the Centre for the AIDS Programme of Research in South Africa Salim Abdool Karim, and Myron of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill write in the Huffington Post. Read more.
CDC identifies top global public health achievements
June 24, 2011 -- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has identified the top global public health advances during the first ten years of the 21st century, which have resulted in increased life expectancies worldwide. Read more.
Researchers develop non-invasive dengue test
June 23, 2011 -- Researchers in Singapore have developed an inexpensive and non-invasive test for dengue fever that eliminates the need to collect blood from patients. Read more.
Event highlights partnerships for innovation in global health
June 23, 2011 -- A recent event in the US House of Representatives convened a panel of experts from the private sector, nongovernmental organizations, and the US government to discuss how public-private partnerships are catalyzing innovative, affordable solutions that save lives worldwide. Read more.
NIH publication features interview with Kenyan researcher
June 21, 2011 -- The latest issue of "Global Health Matters," the newsletter from the National Institutes of Health's Fogarty International Center, includes an interview with researcher Elizabeth Bukusi of the Kenya Medical Research Institute. Read more.
The United States should “apply the power of scientific innovation to more health problems,” NIH director writes
June 17, 2011 -- Thanks “in large part to biomedical innovation, we today have better ways to treat” global health diseases such as HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria, as well as to “lower the risk of transmission—advances that have saved millions of lives and promise to save countless more,” Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), writes in a Huffington Post opinion piece. Read more.
Donors commit historic vaccine funding levels
June 16, 2011 -- Major public and private donors have achieved a milestone in global health by committing historic levels of funding to deliver vaccines to more than 250 million of the world’s poorest children. Read more.
Future of global health examined at the World Health Assembly
June 16, 2011 -- The 64th convening of the World Health Assembly (WHA) was held at the United Nations (UN) in Geneva from May 16 to 24 and brought together leading experts in global health to establish priorities and discuss strategies among the member states and their representatives. Read more.
JAMA article highlights GHTC report on US funding for new global health tools
June 15, 2011 -- In its latest issue, JAMA reports on the Global Health Technologies Coalition’s (GHTC) recent policy report, which calls on US policymakers to accelerate scientific innovation and streamline the approval process for safe and affordable new medical products that can be used worldwide. Read more.
Video now available for GHTC event highlighting the urgent need for new vaccines
June 15, 2011 -- Video is now available from an event the Global Health Technologies Coalition (GHTC) recently hosted with the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) to highlight the promise of new vaccines for global health. Read more.
Global health technologies can “make the difference between life and death,” Congressman writes in opinion piece
June 14, 2011 -- “It is indisputable that the state of the world’s health, especially for mothers and children, has improved dramatically. In the past 20 years, childhood deaths have been cut in half in parts of Africa, Asia, and Latin America, but there is still much that can be done,” Representative Albio Sires (D-NJ) writes in an opinion piece in The Hill. Read more.
New article highlights momentum in tuberculosis vaccine development
June 13, 2011 -- A new article in the June issue of Health Affairs finds that collaboration and partnership, including with emerging economies, will be critical to the successful development and future introduction of new tuberculosis (TB) vaccines in endemic countries. Read more.
Dramatic decrease in meningitis A recorded in West Africa following new vaccine introduction
June 13, 2011 -- Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger have reported the lowest number of confirmed meningitis A cases ever recorded during an epidemic season this year following the introduction of a new vaccine, the Meningitis Vaccine Project (MVP) announced recently. Read more.
Merck donates products library for research
June 13, 2011 -- Pharmaceutical company Merck plans to donate its entire library of natural products to the Institute for Hepatitis and Virus Research (IHVR) along with a grant, the institute recently announced. The library, one of the world’s largest, will be open for researchers globally. Read more.
Scientists and advocates launch vaccine research foundation
June 13, 2011 -- Fourteen leading scientists and advocates in vaccines and infectious diseases have launched a new international foundation to advance and accelerate vaccine research and development. Read more.
Health Affairs issue highlights vaccine research, development, and financing
June 10, 2011 -- The June issue of Health Affairs is devoted to global health vaccines, including new vaccines in the research pipeline, creative models for developing and paying for vaccines, and overcoming remaining challenges in vaccine science, financing, and delivery. Read more.
Researchers cite progress and momentum on HIV/AIDS
June 10, 2011 -- To mark the recent 30th anniversary of the discovery of HIV/AIDS, scientists and researchers have cited recent progress and momentum in developing new treatment and prevention tools. Read more.
New report highlights innovations in HIV diagnostic tools
June 9, 2011 -- UNITAID has released a new report that finds innovative technologies to test and monitor HIV/AIDS could soon be available in the world’s poorest regions. Read more.
Congressman Sires introduces bill to support global health R&D
June 9, 2011 -- Congressmen Albio Sires (D-NJ) recently introduced the 21st Century Global Health Technology Act, a bipartisan bill that would provide the US Agency for International Development (USAID) with authority to strengthen its decades-long support for the development of technologies for global health. Read more.
Grand Challenges program elicits more than 600 innovations to benefit pregnant women and newborns worldwide
June 6, 2011 -- A new program that will provide grants to foster innovative prevention and treatment approaches for pregnant women and newborns in rural, low-resource settings has elicited more than 600 proposed solutions with the potential to save lives worldwide. Read more.
Sanofi and DNDi sign agreement to develop new drugs for neglected tropical diseases
June 3, 2011 -- The pharmaceutical company Sanofi and the nonprofit group Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi) have announced a three-year research agreement for the research of new treatments for nine neglected tropical diseases (NTDs), listed by the World Health Organization (WHO) as needing new health tools to treat patients in endemic countries. Read more.
Nature explores vaccines in latest issue
May 27, 2011 -- The May 26 issue of Nature addresses the development, importance, and impact of vaccines both in the United States and abroad. Read more.
Op-ed piece calls for bipartisan support for medical research
May 25, 2011 -- Kaitlin Christenson, director of the Global Health Technologies Coalition and Michael Castle, former US representative from Delaware, discuss the bipartisan nature of support for medical research in an opinion piece that runs in Roll Call today. Read more.
Clinical trial of microbicide ring enters final stage
May 23, 2011 -- This month, Project Ubuzima, with the International Partnership for Microbicides, launched a Phase III trial for a microbicide ring in Rwanda. Read more.
World AIDS Vaccine Day marked with recent breakthroughs and calls for sustained funding
May 20, 2011 -- Wednesday, May 18 marked World AIDS Vaccine day and provided a platform to discuss the importance and increasing need for an HIV vaccine. Read more.
Increased investments needed to develop new contraceptive options, study finds
May 13, 2011 -- New contraceptive methods are needed for women in developing countries whose needs for modern birth control are not being met, a new study from the Guttmacher Institute has found. Read more.
Treating HIV-positive people with antiretrovirals protects partners, study finds
May 13, 2011 -- HIV-positive men and women reduced the risk of transmitting the virus to their sexual partners by taking oral antiretroviral drugs when their immune systems were relatively healthy, according to findings from a study sponsored by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Read more.
GAVI Alliance commits $100M for new meningitis vaccine
May 13, 2011 -- The GAVI Alliance recently announced that it has committed $100 million to support the use of a meningitis vaccine developed by PATH. Read more.
NASA and USAID pledge to address global development through science and technology
May 10, 2011 -- NASA and the US Agency for International Development (USAID) recently agreed to expand their joint efforts to address international development issues such as food security, climate change, and energy and environmental management. Read more.
GHTC event highlights the US role in promoting science and innovation for global health
May 5, 2011 -- “We stand on the cusp of science and technology breakthroughs” that can “usher in a new decade of global health gains,” Alex Dehgan, the science and technology advisor at the US Agency for International Development (USAID), said at a recent event hosted by the Global Health Technologies Coalition (GHTC). Read more.
NIH maps out how it will address budget cuts
May 5, 2011 -- In response to the recent budget cut for fiscal year (FY) 2011, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) recently announced that it will reduce funding levels for research grants from its institutions and centers. Read more.
Global health research can help boost economic development, opinion piece says
May 5, 2011 -- “Science, technology and innovation (ST&I) are increasingly a focus for discussions about how to achieve economic and human development in low- and middle-income countries,” Seth Berkley, president and CEO of the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative, writes in a SciDev.net opinion piece. Read more.
Interview series highlights the role of research and innovation in global health
May 5, 2011 -- A series of interviews with leaders in global health research is being published this week to mark the release of the Global Health Technologies Coalition’s (GHTC) second annual policy report. Read more.
Leading global health groups call on US to accelerate research
May 4, 2011 -- A coalition of 30 leading global health organizations that work on vaccines, drugs, and other tools and technologies that save lives today released a list of recommendations for US policymakers and regulators, calling for acceleration of scientific innovations and streamlining the approval of safe and affordable inventions in order to save more lives around the world. Read more.
After HIV prevention trial closes, advocates call for continued research
May 3, 2011 -- Family Health International (FHI) recently announced its decision to discontinue the FEM-PrEP study, which aimed to determine if daily antiretroviral drugs could safely and effectively prevent HIV infection in women in Africa through a method called pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP). Read more.
NIH creates collection of approved drugs to identify new therapies for neglected diseases
April 29, 2011 -- Researchers at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) have assembled a collection of thousands of approved drugs for clinical use against rare and neglected diseases. Read more.
New tools needed in fight against malaria, opinion piece says
April 27, 2011 -- There have been major successes in malaria prevention and control in recent years with tools such as bed nets, indoor residual spraying, more effective medicines, and preventive treatment during pregnancy, Global Health Council President and CEO Jeffrey Sturchio and Medicines for Malaria Venture CEO David Reddy write in a Huffington Post opinion piece. Read more.
Funding global health innovation
April 26, 2011 -- President Obama recently signed into law a bill that funds the US federal government through the end of fiscal year (FY) 2011, following a last-minute negotiation reached in Congress just in time to prevent a possible government shutdown. Read more.
GHTC Congressional briefing will highlight role of innovation in creating health products for the developing world.
April 21, 2011 -- On May 3, 2011, the Global Health Technologies Coalition (GHTC) will host its second annual Congressional briefing to highlight the need for and role of new health products for diseases affecting people around the world. Read more.
Video now available from GHTC event on new tools in the fight against malaria
April 21, 2011 -- New video is now available from an event that examined new tools in the pipeline to fight malaria worldwide. Read more.
US program aims to transform medical research and education in Africa
April 21, 2011 -- Earlier this month, US and African global health leaders hosted the inaugural meeting of a program that aims to transform and increase medical education in Africa. Called the Medical Education Partnership Initiative (MEPI), the program assists institutions in sub-Saharan African countries that receive support from the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and its partners to develop and enhance models of medical education. Read more.
Institute for OneWorld Health announces milestone in malaria drug development
April 19, 2011 -- The Institute for OneWorld Health (iOWH), a member of the Global Health Technologies Coalition (GHTC), announced that its development of an alternative source of artemisinin using synthetic biology has successfully entered the production and distribution phase. Read more.
FDA approves first diagnostic for dengue fever
April 19, 2011 -- The first test to help diagnose people with symptoms of dengue fever has been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Read more.
Event examines vaccine financing mechanisms
April 12, 2011 -- The Center for Global Development (CGD) recently hosted an event to examine the design and implementation of vaccine financing mechanisms, including the first Advance Market Commitment (AMC), the International Financing Facility for Immunization (IFFIm), and the GAVI Alliance. Read more.
Global health officials call for increased research and policies to address growing drug resistance worldwide
April 8, 2011 -- On this year’s World Health Day, global health officials warned that the growing spread of antibiotic resistance worldwide has threatened the fight against diseases such as tuberculosis (TB), malaria, and hospital-acquired infections. Read more.
USAID head highlights health research and innovation in annual letter
April 5, 2011 -- In his 2011 annual message, US Agency for International Development (USAID) Administrator Rajiv Shah describes the agency’s recent work to address global poverty, hunger, and illness through programs such as the Global Health Initiative. Read more.
New TB diagnostic making strides in Africa
April 1, 2011 -- Global Health Frontline News recently reported on the positive impact of new diagnostic tools for tuberculosis (TB) with a video on CNN. Read more.
WHO releases first list of priority medicines for maternal and child health
March 30, 2011 -- The World Health Organization (WHO) has released its first-ever list of 30 priority medicines for improving maternal and child health worldwide. Read more.
Center for Global Health R&D Policy Assessment releases new report on prizes
March 29, 2011 -- The Center for Global Health Policy Assessment at the Results for Development Institute (R4D) has released a new report, called "Prizes for Global Health Technologies." Read more.
Bill introduced in Senate to amend FDA’s priority review voucher program
March 29, 2011 -- Senator Robert Casey (D-PA) recently introduced the Creating Hope Act of 2011 to the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions.
US policymakers highlight innovation on World TB Day
March 25, 2011 -- World Tuberculosis (TB) Day was observed this week and provided a platform for experts to highlight the increasing need for new innovations and tools to fight the deadly disease. Read more.
Saving lives at birth: USAID launches Grand Challenges for Development
March 23, 2011 -- "To make advances in maternal and newborn health, our real opportunity lies in harnessing the power of innovation—scientific, technological, and behavioral—to build a continuum of invention from bench to bush. Innovations in products and the platforms we use to deliver them will allow us to expand our reach to women who will likely never set foot inside a hospital."US Agency for International Development Administrator (USAID) Rajiv Shah made these comments at the March 9 launch of a new program called Saving Lives at Birth: A Grand Challenge for Development. Read more.
HIV/AIDS vaccine research contributing to development in Kenya, blog post says
March 22, 2011 -- “I was very glad last month to hear Administrator Rajiv Shah describe” the US Agency for International Development’s (USAID) “deep commitment to sustainable development and building country-led health systems. These principles characterize USAID’s impact in Kenya, where USAID has supported the Kenya AIDS Vaccine Initiative (KAVI) through our partnership with the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI),” Omu Anzala, KAVI program director at the University of Nairobi, writes in a new USAID “Impact” blog post. Read more.
State Department leads discussion of global health innovation
March 22, 2011 -- The US Department of State recently hosted a symposium with stakeholders from the public and private sectors on the role of innovation in addressing global health. Read more.
NIH leaders discuss new opportunities for global health research in Africa
March 15, 2011 -- As part of an interview series on “Science Speaks,” two leaders at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) spoke about a program called the Medical Education Partnership Initiative (MEPI), which aims to support medical and research education in sub-Saharan Africa. Read more.
New resource demonstrates the benefits of global health research
March 15, 2011 -- A new fact sheet from the Global Health Technologies Coalition examines how US leadership in innovation, science, and research for new global health tools helps to save lives around the world. Read more.
Experts examine gaps in global health research
March 10, 2011 -- In two new articles, global health experts examine gaps in research capacity in endemic countries and global research partnerships. In a Global Health Magazine article, Robert Eiss and Roger Glass of the National Institutes of Health’s Fogarty International Center discuss how gaps in health systems and a lack of trained personnel in endemic countries can hinder research efforts, as well as how to fill gaps in knowledge about delivering new interventions in impoverished settings. Read more.
Interview series examines HIV/AIDS and TB research issues
March 9, 2011 -- A new interview series launched on International Women’s Day and examines issues surrounding research and development for HIV and tuberculosis (TB). Read more.
GHTC director and USAID advisor stress importance of science and technology in international development
March 9, 2011 -- “Now is the time to support science and technology—especially in difficult economic times. It is the right thing to do, and it makes good economic sense. In state after state, we see that public research funding is boosting the economy and spurring private investment,” Alex Dehgan, science and technology advisor to the administrator of the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and Kaitlin Christenson, coalition director for the Global Health Technologies Coalition, write in an opinion piece in The Hill. Read more.
Science and technology should be leveraged to improve women’s health worldwide, opinion piece says
March 8, 2011 -- “Today, women's health is very much a global issue. There are over 3.4 billion women worldwide and in most regions of the world, women outnumber men. Yet, a number of factors including poverty, discrimination, and violence undermine women's health,” former US Assistant Surgeon General Susan Blumenthal writes in a Huffington Post opinion piece to mark International Women’s Day. Read more.
Increased private-sector engagement needed to develop new global health products, blog says
March 8, 2011 -- “It’s generally accepted that new incentives are needed to spur innovation in neglected tropical disease (NTD) research and development (R&D),” Andrew Robertson, chief policy officer at BIO Ventures for Global Health and a member of the Global Health Technologies Coalition steering committee, writes in a blog post. Read more.
Presidential commission announces panel to examine current protections for global clinical trials
March 4, 2011 -- The Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues earlier this week announced an international panel that will examine whether current rules adequately protect volunteers in global clinical trials. Read more.
USAID head highlights science in international development
March 2, 2011 -- In the first-ever speech at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) by a sitting administrator for the US Agency for International Development (USAID), Rajiv Shah charted a course forward for the United States' international development programs, including the Global Health Initiative (GHI). Read more.
The Institute for OneWorld Health announces milestone in cholera drug development
March 2, 2011 -- The Institute for OneWorld Health (iOWH) recently announced a major milestone in the development of a drug to treat cholera and other infectious diarrheal diseases. Read more.
Obama Administration releases new details on the Global Health Initiative
March 2, 2011 -- The Obama Administration has released an updated version of its strategy document for the Global Health Initiative (GHI). The document includes updated and expanded descriptions of how the GHI will harness research and innovation to improve health worldwide. Read more.
FDA head calls for bolstered regulatory efforts to ensure drug safety worldwide
March 1, 2011 -- “Ensuring the safety and quality of food and medical products has never been more complicated. Societies around the world face increasingly complex challenges that require harnessing the best available science and technology on behalf of patients and consumers,” US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Margaret Hamburg writes in a Science editorial. Read more.
Single-dose malaria drug enters Phase II trials
February 28, 2011 -- A single-dose malaria drug candidate has progressed to Phase II clinical trials in malaria patients, after Phase I trials found the drug candidate to be safe and effective. Read more.
Researchers cite major progress in dengue vaccine development
February 24, 2011 -- Scientists in Thailand recently announced the development of a prototype vaccine against dengue fever and will conduct tests with the goal of bringing it to market within ten years. Read more.
GHTC director responds to speech by USAID head
February 16, 2011 -- Kaitlin Christenson, coalition director for the Global Health Technologies Coalition (GHTC), responds to a recent speech by Rajiv Shah—administrator for the US Agency for International Development (USAID)—in a new piece on the Modernizing Foreign Assistance (MFAN) blog. Read more.
Investments in global health research have created tens of thousands of jobs in New Jersey, new data finds
February 16, 2011 -- Public and private investments in global health research and development (R&D) have produced tens of thousands of jobs in medicine, research, public health, and education in New Jersey, according to new data from Research!America (R!A). Read more.
New report documents global investment in research for neglected diseases
February 16, 2011 -- Global funding for research and development (R&D) for neglected disease increased to $3.2 billion in 2009, an increase of nearly a quarter of a billion dollars compared with 2008, according to the third annual G-FINDER report released by the George Institute and Policy Cures. Read more.
President Obama releases budget proposal
February 16, 2011 -- President Obama on Monday released his fiscal year (FY) 2012 budget proposal, which aims to reduce spending in certain areas while increasing resources in areas like research that have the potential for long-term payoffs in economic growth. Read more.
USAID outlines impacts of possible global health funding cuts on TB programs
February 15, 2011 -- During a recent presentation to tuberculosis (TB) advocates and implementers, representatives from the US Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Bureau for Global Health outlined the impact to its TB programs if funded at the fiscal year (FY) 2010 levels, or if reduced to FY 2008 levels. Read more.
Kenya launches new vaccine purchased through innovative financing mechanism
February 15, 2011 -- On Monday, Kenya began immunizing children with a new vaccine to protect against pneumonia—the world's leading killer of children younger than age five. Read more.
New report demonstrates USAID’s leadership in global health research
February 15, 2011 -- The US Agency for International Development (USAID) recently released a report to Congress describing its ongoing commitment to global health science, research, and innovation. Read more.
Pharmaceutical company head discusses drug development for global health diseases
February 11, 2011 -- In a recent interview with Forbes, Paul Herring—head of corporate research at Novartis and chair of the company’s Institute for Tropical Diseases—discusses research and development for drugs to treat global health diseases, such as tuberculosis, malaria, and dengue fever. Read more.
Public sector makes significant contributions to health research, study finds
February 10, 2011 -- A new study in the New England Journal of Medicine found that the public sector—including US Government agencies, academic institutions, and nonprofit groups—has a more immediate effect on improving public health than previously realized. Read more.
Medical researcher wins prize for meeting health research challenge
February 8, 2011 -- A neurologist at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center has won a $1 million prize for developing a way to quantify the small muscular changes that signal progressive deterioration related to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Read more.
New TB test might be used to measure HIV viral load
February 8, 2011 -- The diagnostics company Cepheid and the Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND) recently announced a new collaboration to speed the development of a rapid HIV viral load test. Read more.
New meningitis vaccine has reached nearly 20 million people, blog says
February 3, 2011 -- “A few months ago, our friends at PATH set out on a mission to immunize 20 million people in Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger with an affordable new meningitis vaccine, MenAfriVac™. Well, we just got word that they pretty much reached that number—they’ve administered the vaccine to nearly 19.5 million people,” Malaka Gharib writes in a ONE blog post. Read more.
Advance Market Commitment has demonstrated that ‘innovative approaches to health financing” can work, editorial says
February 2, 2011 -- The first Advance Market Commitment (AMC)—which aims to stimulate the development and delivery of vaccines to prevent pneumococcal disease—has “shown that innovative approaches to health financing can benefit both global health and pharmaceutical companies,” a Lancet Infectious Diseases editorial says. Read more.
Bill Gates emphasizes polio eradication and vaccines in annual letter
February 1, 2011 -- In his third annual letter, Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, called for a global effort to eradicate polio. Read more.
Breakthroughs in global health science flourish in 2010
February 1, 2011 -- Last year was marked by monumental progress in science and research for global health. Dramatic progress was announced in the development of new vaccines, microbicides, diagnostic tools, drugs, and other products for a range of global health diseases—from HIV, tuberculosis (TB), malaria, and neglected tropical diseases. Read more.
WHO Director-General calls for sustained resources for global health
January 30, 2011 -- Margaret Chan, director-general of the World Health Organization (WHO), recently said that investments in global health must be sustained in order to build on successes from the past year, including achievements in research and science. Read more.
Global health research reaps benefits in the United States, blog says
January 28, 2011 -- Global health research and development (R&D) is “ultimately going to make people's lives better, whenever researchers find new ways to curb diseases that respect no national borders. But it's also smart economics,” John Edward Porter, former member of Congress and chair of Research!America, and Storer Rowley, executive director of government and community relations at Elmhurst College, write in a Huffington Post blog piece. Read more.
President Obama highlights science and innovation in State of the Union address
January 27, 2011 -- In his recent State of the Union address, President Obama recognized the power of innovation and science to transform the American economy. Read more.
New NIH therapeutics center to launch by October 2011
January 26, 2011 -- Kathleen Sebelius, secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), recently sent a letter to Congress outlining plans to open a new center at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) by October 2011. Read more.
USAID Administrator Shah outlines agency’s plans to modernize foreign aid, harness science and innovation
January 20, 2011 -- Rajiv Shah, administrator for the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), recently gave a speech at the Center for Global Development in which he outlined how the agency will modernize and reform its approach to international development. Read more.
Vaccines are ‘among the greatest scientific contributions to human welfare,’ opinion piece says
January 19, 2011 -- “Vaccines are among the greatest scientific contributions to human welfare” Washington Post columnist Michael Gerson writes in a recent opinion piece, adding, “They are also some of the largest humanitarian contributions of developed nations to the rest of the world.” Read more.
Reducing global poverty ‘must go hand in hand with science,’ letter to the editor says
January 19, 2011 -- Poverty is “perhaps the most important and cross-cutting risk factor” for neglected tropical diseases (NTDs), Peter Hotez, president of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (ASTMH), and ASTMH executive director Karen A. Goraleski, write in a Washington Post letter to the editor. Read more.
Experimental malaria vaccine shows sustained efficacy
January 18, 2011 -- The Lancet has published the results of the mid-stage trials of the experimental GlaxoSmithKline and PATH Malaria Vaccine Initiative sponsored malaria vaccine, RTS,S or Mosquirix, that showed long-lasting protection against infection in young children. Read more.
WHO and partners launch new global plan to protect malaria treatment against resistance
January 13, 2011 -- The World Health Organization (WHO) has launched a new five step Global Plan for Artemisinin Resistance Containment which will seek to control the spread of artemisinin-resistant malaria. Read more.
Group of public health research funders calls for widespread sharing of data
January 11, 2011 -- Public health research data should be shared more widely in the scientific community in order to make progress in public health worldwide, a group of 17 health-funding agencies and groups said recently in a joint statement. Read more.
Incentives to spur global health research and delivery are working, blog says
January 7, 2011 -- This week, the pneumococcal vaccine was introduced in Nicaragua—the “first vaccine delivered as a direct result of a novel market-based incentive for global health: the Advance Market Commitment (AMC),” J. Leighton Read of Alloy Ventures who also served on the board of BIO Ventures for Global Health, writes in a blog post. Read more.
New evidence shows that global health research is a wise investment for the US
January 6, 2011 -- Investing in global health research is a wise choice for the US government that can reap benefits both at home and abroad. Read more.
Increasing number of nonprofit, for-profit pharmaceutical companies partnering to advance global health drug development
January 5, 2011 -- An increasing number of nonprofit pharmaceutical companies are working with for-profit companies to develop drugs for diseases of the developing world. Read more.
Find GHTC members on social media
January 3, 2011 -- Connect with the more than 35 members of the Global Health Technologies Coalition (GHTC) on social media outlets such as Facebook, Twitter, and blogs. Read more.
Breakthroughs in research included in top health and science accomplishments of 2010
January 3, 2011 -- Several global health research breakthroughs were included in lists ranking health and science advances of 2010. Read more.
New report finds increasing commitment to research from developing countries
December 22, 2010 -- Many low- and middle-income countries are demonstrating a growing commitment to science, innovation, and research and development (R&D), according to a new report from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Read more.
State Department recognizes power of innovation and technology to transform lives in new development policy
December 16, 2010 -- The State Department has released the final report of the Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review (QDDR), a process undertaken by the State Department and the US Agency for International Development (USAID) to recommend updated approaches to international diplomacy and development. Read more.
USAID releases report on health-related research and development activities
December 15, 2010 -- The US Agency for International Development (USAID) has released a new report to Congress, detailing the agency’s global health research and development work over the past year. Read more.
United Nations General Assembly adopts resolution on global health and foreign policy
December 14, 2010 -- The United Nations General Assembly has unanimously adopted a resolution to promote links between foreign policy and global health. Read more.
Investments in global health research “benefit lives” worldwide and can “be felt locally in the US,” according to blog post
December 14, 2010 -- “As the holidays are approaching,” it is important to remember that “supporting global health research and development is the ultimate gift,” according to a ONE Campaign blog. Read more.
US support key to recent breakthroughs in global health science, GHTC director writes
December 14, 2010 -- “It’s been a monumental year for scientific achievements in global health. Trials of new HIV prevention technologies—a vaginal gel and a pill for prevention—have shown promising results. Read more.
NIH board recommends new center to advance the development of health tools for neglected and rare diseases
December 10, 2010 -- Earlier this week, the Scientific Management Review Board at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) recommended that the agency create a new center devoted to advancing new medical therapeutics. Read more.
New meningitis vaccine launched in Africa
December 9, 2010 -- A new meningitis vaccine, developed by PATH and the World Health Organization (WHO) through a partnership known as the Meningitis Vaccine Project (MVP), was distributed for the first time on December 6 in Burkina Faso. Read more.
WHO endorses new rapid test for TB and drug resistance
December 8, 2010 -- The World Health Organization (WHO) today announced that it has endorsed a new test for tuberculosis (TB) and rifampicin drug resistance. Read more.
World AIDS Day marked by breakthroughs in science
December 8, 2010 -- The run-up to this year's World AIDS Day on December 1 has been studded with monumental achievements in HIV/AIDS prevention research. Read more.
The new Congress and global health innovation
December 1, 2010 -- On the heels of the recent elections and a leadership shift in the House of Representatives, it is important to note that research for global health diseases has always garnered bipartisan support. Read more.
Increased support from policymakers, scientists, and the public needed to advance HIV prevention research, opinion piece says
November 30, 2010 -- A “series of promising new scientific results in prevention, including three breakthrough trials in just 16 months, offer the first glimmer of hope that we may finally be able to achieve the ‘three zeros’—zero new infections, zero stigma/discrimination, and zero AIDS deaths—Jeffrey Sturchio, president and CEO of the Global Health Council, Ward Cates, president of research at Family Health International (FHI), and Salim Abdool Karim, director of Centre for the AIDS Programme of Research in South Africa (CAPRISA), write in a Huffington Post opinion piece. Read more.
GHTC director highlights role of US Government in recent HIV prevention study
November 29, 2010 -- In a new interview on the “Science Speaks” blog, Kaitlin Christenson, coalition director for the Global Health Technologies Coalition (GHTC), highlights the role of the US Government in a new study that found daily antiretroviral drugs provide protection against HIV infection through a prevention method known as pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP. Read more.
Daily antiretroviral pills protect against HIV infection, study finds
November 29, 2010 -- A new study in the New England Journal of Medicine has found that daily antiretroviral drugs provide protection against HIV infection through a prevention method known as pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP. Read more.
Science and research are crucial to improving health worldwide, former assistant surgeon general writes in opinion piece
November 29, 2010 -- “Research is medicine's field of dreams from which we harvest new findings about the causes, treatment, and prevention of disease,” Susan Blumenthal, director of the Health and Medicine Program at the Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress and former assistant surgeon general, writes in a Huffington Post opinion piece. Read more.
State Department releases new international development policy with a focus on science and innovation
November 18, 2010 -- The State Department has released a draft of the Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review (QDDR), a process undertaken by the State Department and the US Agency for International Development (USAID) to recommend updated approaches to international diplomacy and development. Read more.
First vaccine trials for widespread malaria strain underway
November 17, 2010 -- The Walter Reed Army Institute for Research (WRAIR) recently launched the first clinical trials for a vaccine against the most widespread strain of malaria, Plasmodium vivax. Read more.
New report shows increase in research projects for diseases of the developing world
November 15, 2010 -- The International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers & Associations (IFPMA) has released a new report that found drugmakers are working on more than 100 research and development (R&D) projects for diseases of the developing world. Read more.
New report finds that solutions such as vaccines are key to preventing pneumonia
November 12, 2010 -- To mark World Pneumonia Day, the Global Coalition Against Child Pneumonia released a new report that finds tools and solutions, such as vaccines, are critical components in protecting children from the disease. Read more.
Driving innovation for global health
November 12, 2010 -- In the current global economic crisis, how can the United States support and foster research for essential new global health tools? How can the country ensure that its investments in research for new health products—such as vaccines, drugs, and diagnostics—are cost efficient and a wise use of limited resources? Read more.
TB Alliance launches trial of new drug regimen
November 10, 2010 -- The Global Alliance for TB Drug Development (TB Alliance) recently announced the launch of a Phase I clinical trial to test a novel tuberculosis (TB) regimen that aims to speed new treatments to patients. Read more.
President Obama announces partnership with Indonesia that will focus on science and health
November 10, 2010 -- During a recent visit to Indonesia as part of a ten-day Asia-Pacific tour, President Barack Obama and Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono announced a partnership between the two nations that will focus on several key issues, including science, technology, and health. Read more.
Groups launch preventive AIDS vaccine trial
November 9, 2010 -- The International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) recently announced the launch of a Phase I trial of two preventive AIDS vaccine candidates. Read more.
African leader calls on countries worldwide to strengthen drug regulatory and administration measures
November 5, 2010 -- During the opening of the tenth annual meeting of the International Society of Pharmacovigilance (ISoP) in Ghana, the country’s Vice President John Dramani Mahama called on ISoP member countries to strengthen their pharmaceutical regulatory systems in an effort to curb the spread of counterfeit medicines. Read more.
Experimental dengue vaccine enters Phase III trials
November 5, 2010 -- Pharmaceutical company Sanofi-Pasteur has announced that its experimental dengue vaccine has entered Phase III clinical trials in Australia. Read more.
GHTC releases a new fact sheet on incentives and innovative financing for global health research
November 4, 2010 -- The Global Health Technologies Coalition (GHTC) has authored a new fact sheet on incentives and innovative financing mechanisms for global health product development. Read more.
Indian and Canadian researchers collaborate to develop new malaria drugs
November 3, 2010 -- Researchers from India and Canada have joined together to form an international malaria research consortium aimed at developing new classes of drugs against the disease. Read more.
Biotechnology investors and executives discuss research incentives and financing
November 3, 2010 -- Biotechnology executives and investors gathered last week at the annual Mid-Atlantic Bio Conference, hosted by the Virginia Biotechnology Association, the Mid-Atlantic Venture Association, and the Tech Council of Maryland. Read more
Lancet series examines malaria control and eradication
October 29, 2010 -- A new series in the Lancet examines issues surrounding the control and elimination of malaria, including research for new health tools such as vaccines, drugs, diagnostics, and insecticides. Read more.
White House advisor and WHO official discuss need for new TB tools
October 29, 2010 -- In a new blog post on the Center for Global Health Policy’s “Science Speaks” blog, Ezekiel Emanuel—special advisor for health policy at the White House Office of Management and Budget—discusses the challenges of addressing tuberculosis (TB) in Ethiopia after touring a hospital in Addis Ababa, the capitol. Read more.
FDA meets with stakeholders to discuss next steps for experimental microbicide gel
October 27, 2010 -- The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently met with CONRAD and other stakeholders to discuss the next steps required for US licensure of 1% tenofovir gel, an experimental microbicide recently found to be effective at reducing the rate of HIV and herpes infection in women. Read more.
Secretary Clinton offers preview of development strategy
October 26, 2010 -- In an essay in Foreign Affairs, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton offers a preview of the Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review (QDDR), a process undertaken by the State Department and the US Agency for International Development (USAID) to recommend updated approaches to international diplomacy and development. Read more.
GHTC member examines prizes for global health product development, calls for suite of incentives
October 26, 2010 -- In a new blog post, Kaitlin Christenson, manager of the Global Health Technologies Coalition (GHTC), discusses a recent event in which the Results for Development Institute (R4D) presented some of its initial analysis of prizes designed to drive development of TB diagnostics for global health product development. Read more.
New details on US global development, health initiatives unveiled
October 24, 2010 -- The Obama Administration recently unveiled details about its new international development strategy, called the Presidential Policy Directive (PPD) on global development. Read more.
British government pledges to protect science and research from funding cuts
October 22, 2010 -- In the midst of public spending cuts, the British government recently announced that it would protect funding for science and research by freezing the budget at the country’s Department of Business, Innovation, and Skills (BIS). Read more.
Leaders call on endemic countries to increase investments in science
October 21, 2010 -- During the Third World Academy of Sciences meeting in India, leaders called for endemic countries to place a greater emphasis on scientific research and application. Read more.
India and South Africa to launch joint vaccine research project
October 20, 2010 -- India and South Africa are expected to launch a joint HIV vaccine research project by the end of 2010, with a focus on basic science and HIV strains common in both countries. Read more.
WHO report on neglected tropical diseases calls for increased research to develop new drugs, diagnostics, vaccines, and other health products
October 15, 2010 -- The World Health Organization (WHO) has released its first report on neglected tropical diseases (NTDs), in which the agency said it aims to achieve “complete control and even elimination” of the diseases that affect one billion people each year. Read more.
GHTC calls for elevation of science and research in international development
October 14, 2010 -- In a new entry on the Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network (MFAN) blog, Kaitlin Christenson, manager of the Global Health Technologies Coalition (GHTC), calls for science, research, and innovation to be promoted and elevated in US international development efforts, including the Global Health Initiative (GHI). Read more.
Prominent new study on HIV/AIDS financing calls for investments in research for new tools
October 13, 2010 -- A prominent new study published by the Results for Development Institute in the Lancet examines HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment financing through 2031. Read more.
New developments in TB vaccine research and diagnostic capacity
October 12, 2010 -- Researchers, nonprofit groups, US federal agencies, and other partners have recently announced exciting advancements in tuberculosis (TB) vaccine research and diagnostic capacity. Read more.
UN, WHO launch African-led health research network
October 11, 2010 -- The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) and the World Health Organization (WHO) have launched an African-led initiative to promote innovation and research for the development of pharmaceuticals and other health products for the continent. Read more.
US leaders prioritize research and innovation
October 7, 2010 -- Major gains were made in the United States’ effort to harness the lifesaving potential of science, technology, and innovation to tackle global health issues and achieve major development goals in two distinct settings. Read more.
Public hearing highlights FDA's role in global health
October 5, 2010 -- On September 23, the FDA hosted a pivotal public hearing to examine its role in regulating and reviewing global health technologies, such as vaccines, drugs, microbicides, diagnostics, and other tools that save lives worldwide. Read more.
FDA awards nearly $3 million in TB research grants
October 5, 2010 -- The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) today announced that it will grant $2.9 million to support six research projects aimed at developing new tools to diagnose, treat, and prevent tuberculosis (TB). Read more.
NIH joins innovative HIV/AIDS drug patent pool
October 4, 2010 -- The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has announced that it will share intellectual property rights on some HIV/AIDS medicines through a patent pool that aims to make treatments more widely available to people in low-income countries. Read more.
Safe and effective malaria vaccine closer than ever, PATH Malaria Vaccine Initiative announces at conference
September 30, 2010 -- Researchers are closer than ever before to successfully developing the first safe and effective malaria vaccine, representatives from the PATH Malaria Vaccine Initiative (MVI) and other scientists said this week at the Malaria Vaccines for the World Conference in Washington, DC. Read more.
Aeras announces two new clinical trials for tuberculosis vaccine candidates
September 24, 2010 -- This week, the Aeras Global TB Vaccine Foundation announced two exciting new clinical trials of tuberculosis (TB) vaccine candidates. Read more.
Innovation to reach the MDGs
September 24, 2010 -- This week, nearly 200 world leaders will meet in New York to attend a high-level United Nations summit on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), aimed at reducing disease, poverty, and hunger by 2015. Read more.
Leaders highlight innovation and science as key principles to achieve the MDGs
September 23, 2010 -- During this week’s United Nations summit on the Millennium Development Goals, several world leaders highlighted how innovation, science, and technology can help make progress toward achieving the global targets. Read more.
Coalition of leading international health groups releases recommendations to elevate FDA's role in global health
September 23, 2010 -- The Global Health Technologies Coalition (GHTC), a group of more than 30 leading international health organizations, today released recommendations to elevate the role of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in global health. Read more.
Ensuring safe and effective health tools reach people in need
September 21, 2010 -- As the Obama Administration and other US leaders continue to prioritize global health issues, the FDA can play an increasingly important role in efforts to ensure the safety of health tools to prevent, diagnose, and treat infectious diseases that affect millions of people worldwide every year. Read more.
GHTC releases new fact sheet on FDA's role in global health
September 20, 2010 -- The Global Health Technologies Coalition (GHTC) has authored a new fact sheet on the FDA's role in global health . Read more.
GHTC releases new fact sheet on research and the millennium development goals
September 17, 2010 -- This fact sheet from the Global Health Technologies Coalition examines how research for new global health tools can help achieve the Millennium Development Goals. Read more.
BARDA awards four contracts for global health research
September 15, 2010 -- The Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), a division of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), recently awarded grants for global health research and development. Read more.
Gates Foundation driving research into malaria eradication
September 14, 2010 -- The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is revamping its scientific agenda for malaria with the aim of eradicating the disease. Read more.
Johnson & Johnson health program to help women and children worldwide includes research for new HIV and TB treatments
September 14, 2010 -- The pharmaceutical company Johnson & Johnson has launched a five-year health program—called Every Woman, Every Child—that aims to support the Millennium Development Goals target of reducing mortality in women and children by 2015. Read more.
Group releases HIV vaccine strategic plan
September 13, 2010 -- The Council of the Global HIV Vaccine Enterprise has released a strategic plan to accelerate research and development for an HIV vaccine. Read more.
New test provides accurate and fast detection of TB and drug resistance, study finds
September 3, 2010 -- A new study in the New England Journal of Medicine found that a new molecular tuberculosis (TB) test provides highly sensitive detection of the disease and drug resistance in low-resource settings more easily and quickly than current, widely used diagnostics. Read more.
New partners join treatment pool for neglected tropical diseases
September 1, 2010 -- Several new partners have joined the Pool for Open Innovation Against Neglected Tropical Diseases in recent months. Read more.
New, low-cost meningitis vaccine approved by WHO
August 31, 2010 -- A new meningitis vaccine, MenAfriVac, will soon be distributed for the first time in a mass campaign in Burkina Faso. Read more.
Police seize counterfeit medicines in Africa
August 27, 2010 -- Authorities have seized ten tons of counterfeit medicines in six east African countries and arrested suspects involved in the manufacturing, trafficking and selling of fake medical products. Read more.
WHO prequalifies pneumococcal vaccine
August 24, 2010 -- The World Health Organization has prequalified Pfizer’s pneumococcal vaccine, Prevenar 13, allowing for the procurement of the vaccine by United Nations agencies, governments, and other organizations for use in national immunization programs. Read more.
Connect with the GHTC for the latest in global health research, innovation
August 23, 2010 -- The Global Health Technologies Coalition (GHTC) has joined Facebook and Twitter, providing the latest updates about research and innovation for new global health tools. Read more.
Cancer in developing countries can be addressed with vaccines, drugs, experts say
August 20, 2010 -- A panel of experts recently stated that cancer is taking an increasing toll on people in low-income countries and called for a new focus on fighting the disease. Read more.
Fostering research in the GHI
August 18, 2010 -- For the first time, the Obama administration has detailed how the Global Health Initiative (GHI) will foster innovation to improve health worldwide. Read more.
Innovation will play a key role in international development programs, USAID head says
August 18, 2010 -- Science and technology will play crucial roles in several international development programs by the US Agency for International Development (USAID), the agency’s administrator Rajiv Shah said at a recent event in Seattle. Read more.
Global Health Initiative will foster innovation for new tools, Secretary Clinton says
August 17, 2010 -- President Obama’s Global Health Initiative (GHI)—a six year, $63 billion commitment to global health—will invest in innovation and research for new health tools, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said at a recent event at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies. Read more.
World has “entered a highly promising era in HIV-prevention research,” new approaches needed to build on recent successes
August 12, 2010 -- Recent successes in HIV research “provide clear evidence we have entered a highly promising era in HIV-prevention research,” Alan Bernstein, executive director of the Global HIV Vaccine Enterprise, and Peter Piot—chair of the Global HIV Vaccine Enterprise and director of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM)—write in a Globe and Mail opinion piece. Read more.
New studies on rotavirus vaccines show significant protection against deadly childhood diarrhea
August 10, 2010 -- Two new studies in Africa and Asia recently published in the Lancet show that rotavirus vaccines are safe and effective at preventing severe rotavirus gastroenteritis, which is responsible for more than half a million child deaths worldwide. Read more.
Video from foreign assistance reform event available online
August 10, 2010 -- The Global Health Technologies Coalition recently posted videos from a congressional briefing co-hosted with the Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network. Read the GHTC annoucement.
Senator Brownback introduces bill to expand FDA’s Priority Review Voucher program
August 10, 2010 -- Senator Sam Brownback has introduced a bill that would expand the US Food and Drug Administration’s Priority Review Voucher (PRV) program to include rare and neglected pediatric diseases in the United States. Read more.
Recently prequalified meningitis vaccine distribution scheduled for October
A new meningitis vaccine, recently prequalified by the World Health Organization (WHO), will be distributed for the first time in October through a mass campaign in Burkina Faso. Read more.
'Now is the time' to 'deploy science, technology, and innovation in the service of humanity,' US leaders write
"We are on the cusp of a new era in global development," Rajiv Shah, administrator for the US Agency for International Development (USAID), and John Holdren, director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, write in a Huffington Post blog post. Read more.
More than 200 organizations sign open letter to President Obama on reforming foreign aid
More than 200 organizations, including some members of the Global Health Technologies Coalition (GHTC), have signed an open letter to President Obama on foreign aid. Read more.
Senate committee approves state, foreign operations appropriations bill
The Senate Appropriations Committee, on Friday, approved the fiscal year (FY) 2011 budget bill for state and foreign operations. Read more.
Obama administration releases strategy to meet Millennium Development Goals
The Obama Administration recently released its strategy to meet the United Nations Millennium Development Goals, eight commitments to reduce poverty and disease worldwide by 2015. Read more.
Innovation to catalyze development:
Leveraging research in US foreign assistance
July 30, 2010 -- "Even the way we change is changing," Thomas Kalil, deputy director for policy at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), told attendees at the July 28 congressional briefing hosted by the Global Health Technologies Coalition (GHTC) and the Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network (MFAN). Read more.
New hope for women in the fight against AIDS
July 26, 2010 -- A study released this week at the XVIII International AIDS conference in Vienna, Austria, has lifted hopes for research and development for a female-controlled HIV prevention tool. Read more.
NIH drug pipeline for rare, neglected diseases launches five pilot projects
The National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) Therapeutics for Rare and Neglected Diseases (TRND) program, established last year with $24 million in funding, is a drug development pipeline that aims to produce new treatments for rare and neglected diseases. Read more.
Science ‘indispensible’ to US development goals worldwide, USAID head says
US Agency for International Development (USAID) Administrator Rajiv Shah recently authored a blog post in which he writes that President Obama has supported “science, technology, and innovation as an indispensible component of US development policy as we seek to support developing communities worldwide.”
Obama Administration highlights commitment to fight against HIV/AIDS
Following the recent XVIII International AIDS conference in Vienna, Austria, members of the Obama Administration stressed the president’s commitment to fighting the HIV/AIDS pandemic through programs such as the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief and the Global Health Initiative. Read more.
Trial of microbicide gel shows promise for HIV prevention among women
Results from an advanced clinical trial announced at the XVIII International AIDS conference in Vienna, Austria, showed a significant reduction in the risk of HIV infection among women who used an experimental microbicide gel that contained the antiretroviral drug tenofovir. Read more.
Conference examines how science and technology can revitalize USAID
The US Agency for International Development (USAID) last week hosted a two-day conference to examine how science and technology can revitalize the agency and solve major challenges in international development. Read more.
Priority review vouchers for neglected diseases need support, blog says
The US Food and Drug Administration’s priority review voucher (PRV) program is “moving forward very quickly, but long product development timelines dictate that it will take time to blossom,” a BIO Ventures for Global Health blog says. Read more.
NIH head calls for $500M for neglected disease research; Agency funds malaria research centers
Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), has called on Congress to set aside $500 million for a program that would give biotechnology companies funding for clinical trials focused on neglected diseases. Read more.
Antibodies effective against 90 percent of HIV strains
Researchers at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health have discovered a pair of naturally occurring antibodies that can kill more than 90 percent of all HIV strains. Read more.
New collaboration will investigate TB drugs as possible treatments for neglected tropical diseases
The Global Alliance for TB Drug Development (TB Alliance) and the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi) have announced a new license agreement that aims to speed development of treatments for several neglected diseases. Read more.
Coalition releases recommendations to improve US foreign aid
Global Washington—a coalition of 120 groups working in international development based in Seattle, Washington—has released a set of recommendations to improve the efficacy US foreign aid. Read more.
House subcommittee approves fiscal year 2011 spending bill with $8.25B for global health
The House State and Foreign Operations Appropriations Subcommittee has approved a draft spending bill for fiscal year 2011, which would provide funding lower than President Obama’s request but higher than FY2010. Read more.
USAID head examines maternal health interventions, country ownership
During a June 29 event at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), US Agency for International Development (USAID) Administrator Rajiv Shah highlighted how health tools and robust health systems can help prevent maternal deaths worldwide. Read more.
Congress highlights new tools for global health
June 24, 2010 -- The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) plays a crucial role in facilitating the introduction of health tools to prevent, diagnose, and treat infectious diseases that affect millions of people worldwide every year. Read more.
Obama Administration harnesses innovation to forge diplomatic ties
June 23, 2010 -- Administration officials recently marked the one-year anniversary of the president's Cairo speech, stressing the importance of science and research in forging partnerships with communities around the world. Read the GHTC announcement.
FDA review group to focus on drugs for neglected tropical diseases
A US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) review group for rare diseases held its first public meeting this week, examining how to make it easier and less expensive to develop products for diseases that affect less than 200,000 people in the United States. Read more.
Report highlights crucial role of PDPs in global health research
A new study in the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine’s journal International Health examines the role of product development partnerships in research and development (R&D) for neglected diseases worldwide. Read more.
President Obama, world leaders highlight global health, innovation
Leaders from the Group of Eight nations, in partnership with other countries and organizations, at their recent summit pledged $7.3 billion for maternal and child health efforts worldwide. Read more.
US, Russian presidents pledge cooperation in research, innovation
During Russian President Dmitriy Medvedev’s recent visit to the United States, US President Obama and Medvedev recognized the crucial role of research and innovation in advancing economic growth and bilateral cooperation. Read more.
NIH, partners launch research project in Africa
The National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Wellcome Trust, and the African Society for Human Genetics recently launched the Human Heredity and Health in Africa Project. Read more.
Index ranks pharmaceutical companies on drug access in low-income countries
The Access to Medicine Index has released its most recent report, which ranks 20 of the world's largest pharmaceutical companies on efforts to ensure that medicines are made for and reach people in low-income countries. Read more.
Obama Administration announces focus countries under Global Health Initiative
The Obama Administration has announced the eight nations designated as “GHI Plus” countries under the Global Health Initiative. Read more.
FDA posts online safety information about recently approved drugs, vaccines
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently launched a website where users can access safety information about drugs and vaccines recently approved by the agency. Read more.
Drug resistance accelerating worldwide, report finds
A new report from the Center for Global Development finds that increasing drug resistance worldwide is compromising efforts to treat global health diseases. Read more.
Former Senate leaders urge bipartisan support for international development
Former Senate majority leaders Senators Tom Daschle (D-SD) and Bill Frist (R-TN) recently published an opinion piece calling for bipartisan support for international development, highlighting the impact of US investment in the development of global health tools. Read more.
Women Deliver conference examines health innovations
Several speakers at the recent Women Deliver conference in Washington, DC, examined how a range of health technologies have benefited women worldwide. Read more.
Experts urge increased action to address spread of counterfeit drugs worldwide
During a recent meeting at the World Health Organization, experts examined the dangers posed by the spread of counterfeit drugs in low-income and wealthy nations. Read more.
GHTC Steering Committee authors op-ed in The Hill
The Hill’s “Congress Blog” recently published an op-ed authored by leaders of the Global Health Technologies Coalition’s Steering Committee. Read more.
Leaders, policymakers call for sustained USAID support, revised foreign aid strategy
US Agency for International Development (USAID) Administrator Rajiv Shah, Representative Gerald Connolly (D-VA), and other leaders from the US government and international bodies recently addressed the opening session of an international development forum hosted by InterAction. Read more.
US launches initiative to monitor impact of federal funding for science, research
The US Government recently launched a program that will monitor the effect of federal science investments on health outcomes and other issues. Read more.
Video from global health R&D event available online
May 12, 2010 -- The Global Health Technologies Coalition recently posted videos on its first annual Congressional briefing, which highlighted that the United States has long been a leader in research and development for global health diseases. Read the GHTC announcement.
R&D prioritized by US global development policy draft, USAID administrator
May 7, 2010 -- The GHTC applauds the elevation of global health research and development in a draft of the National Security Council's document on US global development policy and statements from USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah. Read the GHTC announcement.
International Microbicides Conference highlights HIV prevention research
The 2010 International Microbicides Conference (M2010), which took place in Pittsburgh, PA, USA this week, featured findings on HIV prevention research. Read more.
Important outcomes for health technologies from the annual World Health Assembly
During the annual World Health Assembly in Geneva, Switzerland, the World Health Organization passed a resolution focused on the prevention and treatment of pneumonia as part of efforts to reduce the child mortality rate. Read more.
Dengue fever reported in Florida, demonstrates importance of US role in combating global diseases
Twenty-eight cases of dengue fever, a mosquito-borne virus, have been discovered in Key West, Florida, USA—an area of the United States that has not experienced incidences of the disease since the 1934. Read more.
HIV organizations, US agencies observe World AIDS Vaccine Day
In honor of World AIDS Vaccine Day, several nonprofit organizations and US agencies released statements and authored articles and blog posts highlighting the urgent need for a vaccine to prevent HIV, and the hope in the future of HIV vaccine research. Read more.
South Africa to use new drug patent pool to speed development of malaria, TB drugs
South Africa will become the first government to tap into a drug patent pool established by pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline and run by BIO Ventures for Global Health. Read more.
US Secretary of State calls for enhanced USAID role in global development research
US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton recently said that the US Agency for International Development (USAID) should become the “premier development research agency in the world.” Read more.
United Nations agencies release pediatric medicine guide, call for more research to close gaps
The World Health Organization and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) recently published a list of sources and prices of certain medicines designed for children worldwide. Read more.
GHTC issues recommendations for Congress, Administration
April 21, 2010 -- The Global Health Technologies Coalition (GHTC) recently released its first annual policy report, which provides recommendations for Congress and the Administration on how to position the United States as the leader in a worldwide movement to strengthen global health research and development (R&D). Read the GHTC announcement.
US leaders, foreign policy experts urge robust global affairs budget
Several US leaders—including Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Defense Secretary Robert Gates, Rep. Howard Berman, and Sen. John Kerry—have called on Congress to approve a robust and sustained budget for US foreign affairs. Read more.
Report calls for new global health diagnostics
A new BIO Ventures for Global Health report examines groundbreaking technologies that could lead to innovative diagnostic tests in resource-poor countries. Read more.
Trade agreement could hinder generic drug access in developing countries, critics say
Some organizations and other critics are coming out against a potential trade agreement between India and the European Union that they say could hinder access to generic drugs in the developing world. Read more.
Drug demand in developing countries could boost worldwide sales
Demand for pharmaceutical products in developing countries could help to increase global sales by five percent each year through 2014, according to the research company IMS Health Inc. Read more.
Senate examines USAID budget request
The Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs recently held a hearing on the fiscal year 2011 budget request for the US Agency for International Development, including possible reforms to the agency’s operations. Read more.
Chemical company joins effort to develop malaria control products
The chemical company BASF has signed an agreement with the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and the Innovative Vector Control Consortium to develop new malaria prevention tools based on the insecticide chlorfenapyr. Read more.
GHTC launches its first annual global health R&D policy report
The Global Health Technologies Coalition (GHTC) launched its first annual report on global health research and development, which focuses on the coalition's three priority areas. Read more.
Administration, global health officials discuss GHI details, implementation
Several Obama Administration officials recently joined representatives from the Kaiser Family Foundation and PATH to discuss the Global Health Initiative (GHI). Read more.
Companies tackle TB diagnostic, drug development
The company Guardian Technologies has developed a system to improve the diagnostic abilities of laboratory systems in some developing countries. Meanwhile, Pfizer and other pharmacuetical companies have entered into an agreement to develop new TB therapies. Read more.
USAID aims to enhance science diplomacy efforts
The Obama administration last month appointed Dr. Alex Dehgan to be the first science and technology advisor at the US Agency for International Development (USAID). Read more.
New blog series highlights role of vaccines in saving lives worldwide
A new series was recently launched on the ONE blog to highlight how vaccines help to save the lives of women and children around the world. Read more.
Crucell, GSK partner to develop malaria vaccine candidate
Biotechnology company Crucell and pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) have announced that they will jointly develop a malaria vaccine candidate. Read more.
Researchers discover compound that could lead to new treatments for sleeping sickness
British and Canadian scientists have discovered a compound that could lead to new treatments for African sleeping sickness, which infects between 50,000 and 70,000 people each year in sub-Saharan Africa. Read more.
Experts meet in Brazil to discuss drug development for global diseases
The Brazilian organization Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (FIOCRUZ) this week held a meeting in Rio de Janeiro to examine how to increase financial resources and formulate studies that could lead to the development of drugs for global diseases. Read more.
Lawmakers urge USAID to boost treatment funding for four neglected diseases
Thirteen members of Congress recently sent the US Agency for International Development (USAID) a letter, calling on the agency to increase funding for the treatment of leishmaniasis, sleeping sickness, Chagas disease, and Buruli ulcer. Read more.
New partners join effort to develop childhood vaccines
March 25, 2010 -- GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and Pfizer recently joined a unique effort to bring vaccines to millions of children worldwide. Read more.
Global Health Technologies Coalition calls for US engagement in innovative effort to bring vaccines to children worldwide
March 23, 2010 -- New industry partners have joined the first Advance Market Commitment (AMC), a unique public health funding approach. Read the GHTC press statement.
CSIS Commission report highlights need for global health research, innovative financing
March 18, 2010 -- The report, which marks a year of deliberations by the bipartisan Commission on Smart Global Health Policy, promotes a long-term, strategic US approach to global health. Read the GHTC press statement.
President's Global Health Initiative proposed
March 5, 2010 -- Last month, President Obama released the initial proposed details of the new US Global Health Initiative (GHI)—a six-year, $63 billion commitment to global health—for comment by global health stakeholders. Read more.
PEPFAR releases annual report
The President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) has released its sixth annual progress report to Congress. Read more.
New online tool tracks international aid
A newly launched online resource will track international aid flows worldwide, pulling together information from existing databases, donor documents, online resources, and direct contact with donors. Read more.
USAID launches US TB strategy
USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah recently unveiled a new US global tuberculosis strategy, which among other goals aims to reduce by 50 percent TB cases and deaths by 2014. Read more.
FDA developing new guidelines for combination therapies
FDA is drafting new guidelines that could ease the testing and approval process for multidrug therapies for diseases such as HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis. Read more.
Glaxo to extend flexible drug pricing program to middle-income countries
Pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline has announced that it plans to boost sales in middle-income countries and reduce prices in some of the world’s poorest nations. Read more.
Clinton, Gates urge US to boost global health assistance
Former president Bill Clinton and Bill Gates, co-founder of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Wednesday and called on lawmakers to increase foreign assistance for global health programs. Read more.
Global health groups call on US trade representative to ease drug access in developing countries
The groups are calling on the US trade representative, Ron Kirk, to make it easier for developing countries to access generic drugs without the penalties associated with violating intellectual property rights. Read more.
Brazil aims to vaccinate 90 million people against H1N1 flu
Brazil’s health minister has announced that the country plans to provide 90 million people with the H1N1 flu vaccine through a nationwide campaign beginning this month. Read more.
Members of Global Health Technologies Coalition respond to the President's Global Health Initiative
February 22, 2010 -- Several GHTC member organizations applauded the Administration's proposal, and say that greater emphasis on research and development for new tools is need. Read the response from GHTC members.
New report issues recommendations to enhance registration processes of drugs for neglected diseases in Africa
February 19, 2010 -- The report, “Registering New Drugs: the African Context," assesses pathways to facilitate review of new neglected disease drugs by African experts. Read more on the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative website.
White House Prioritizes Health Research and Development
February 8, 2010 -- In several speeches and initiatives over the past year, President Obama has singled out research and development (R&D) as a priority of his administration. Read more.
Global Health Technologies Coalition applauds White House budget proposal
February 1, 2010 -- President Obama's fiscal year 2011 budget proposal clearly demonstrates that the White House is committed to research and development (R&D) and global health issues by increasing funding for several key US agencies. Read the GHTC press statement.
FDA, NIH launch partnership to accelerate decisions on advanced research products
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) have announced a new partnership to speed FDA safety and efficacy decisions on new products that result from advanced research. Read more.
FDA approves new pneumonia, meningitis vaccine
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Pfizer’s Prevnar 13—a vaccine against pneumonia, meningitis, and other infections—for children ages five and younger. Read more.
Study finds benefits associated with treating HIV, TB together
A new study in the New England Journal of Medicine finds that treating HIV and tuberculosis simultaneously could save more lives than treating TB first. Read more.
Flightless mosquito could help curb spread of dengue
A new study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences reveals how scientists are attempting to breed a genetically altered female mosquito that cannot fly. Read more.
Researchers develop technology to stabilize vaccines in high temperatures
Oxford University scientists and the company Nova Laboratories have created a sugar technology that stabilizes vaccines, even in tropical temperatures. Read more.
HIV/AIDS research conference opens in San Francisco
Several media outlets reported on HIV/AIDS studies and other news from the CROI 2010 conference in San Francisco. Read more.
Antibodies contribute to dengue-associated disease
Researchers at the La Jolla Institute for Allergy & Immunology have confirmed a hypothesis that antibodies—which typically help the body fend off infection—actually contribute to a severe dengue-associated disease. Read more.
Herpes treatment slows HIV progression
New research indicates that the herpes drug acyclovir could also slow HIV progression in people living with both diseases. Read more.
Mode of HIV transmission between men who have sex with men pinpointed
US researchers have discovered how HIV is transmitted between men who have sex with men. Read more.
Up to 40 percent of malaria drugs in some African countries substandard, study finds
A new study by US and World Health Organization researchers finds that between 26% and 44% of malaria drugs in Madagascar, Senegal and Uganda were of substandard quality. Read more.
Study indicates that experimental malaria vaccine might be effective in children
US and African researchers have reported that an experimental malaria vaccine could provide a high level of protection among children. Read more.
Wellcome Trust awards grant for microbicide research
The Wellcome Trust has awarded the Mintaka Foundation for Medical Research a grant to fund microbicide clinical trials. Read more.
Obama releases FY 2011 budget proposal
President Obama on Feb. 1 released his proposal for the fiscal year 2011 federal budget. Read more.
Crystal provides insights into HIV enzyme
Researchers in the U.K. and U.S. have developed a crystal that provides insights into the structure of the HIV enzyme integrase. Read more.
Researchers examine tobacco as HIV prevention tool
Researchers at the University of London are researching the use of tobacco antibodies to prevent HIV infection. Read more.
Developing countries not receiving surplus H1N1 vaccines
Many developing nations have not received H1N1 vaccines that wealthier countries have in excess. Read more.
New data on rotavirus vaccine from Mexico and Africa show lifesaving impact and effectiveness in the developing world
January 28, 2010 --The studies underscore the importance of vaccination in achieving significant reduction of severe rotavirus infections among children in the developing world, where disease impact is greatest. Read more on the PATH website.
Gates foundation pledges at least $10B for vaccines.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation recently pledged to double its spending on vaccines over the next ten years. Read more.
Vaccine might be effective at preventing TB among HIV-positive people
A new study in the journal AIDS by researchers at Dartmouth has found that an experimental TB vaccine might reduce cases among HIV-positive people. Read more.
Dengue vaccine enters human trials
Australian company Acuvax has announced that its U.S. subsidiary has begun Phase 1 study of an experimental dengue vaccine. Read more.
Chikungunya vaccine candidate effective in animal studies
A new study indicates that an experimental Chikungunya vaccine is effective in studies among monkeys and mice. Read more.
Researchers determine how malaria parasite reproduces
A group of international researchers has discovered how malaria parasites reproduce. Read more.
Groundbreaking survey of funding for global health research and development released in India
December 16, 2009 -- Report from the George Institute highlights the critical role the United States plays in advancing new health technologies and the need for sustained and increased funding for research. Read the GHTC press release.
New report demonstrates power of vaccines and immunizations worldwide
September 21, 2009 -- Report from the World Health Organization, UNICEF, and the World Bank underscores the importance of research and development of new solutions. Read the GHTC press release.
GHTC receives funding to encourage new health solutions for the developing world.
May 15, 2009 -- New coalition advocates for accelerated access to global health technologies. Read the GHTC press release.