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In this regular feature on Breakthroughs, we highlight some of the most interesting reads in global health research from the past week.

December 12, 2022 by Hannah Sachs-Wetstone

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The World malaria report 2022, published last Thursday, found that progress in the fight against malaria has been steady, despite setbacks due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In order to strengthen the global response to malaria, investment is needed to close the funding gap and ensure money is available for the research and development (R&D) of new tools. There is a robust R&D pipeline of innovative technologies for malaria control including new long-lasting bednets, diagnostic tests, next-generation medicines, and other vaccines that will be essential to address the growing challenges of antimicrobial resistance and the spread of the Anopheles stephensi malaria vector in urban areas.

Despite rising COVID-19 cases in the United States, no monoclonal antibodies treatments are available for use as the US Food and Drug Administration paused the emergency authorization for the last remaining antibody treatment developed by Eli Lilly because it is not as effective against newer variants. There are other medications aimed at preventing COVID-19 that are currently authorized, including Evusheld and Paxlovid, but these treatments may not be as effective against new variants and may not be available for everyone. New antiviral treatments are in development, including one drug developed by researchers at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and another by Shionogi, which has received emergency authorization in Japan.

The spread of Sudan ebolavirus in Uganda has slowed dramatically, raising questions about whether the trial testing vaccine efficacy that was expected to begin shortly can go on due to reduced numbers of potential participants. A cancelled trial would be considered by many a loss given the incredible amount of effort that has gone into securing the vaccines, permissions, and funding for the trial, as well as the interest in testing new vaccines that could be effective against Sudan ebolavirus. Looking forward, stockpiling experimental vaccines and pre-agreed trial protocols could ensure readiness for any future Sudan outbreaks.

About the author

Hannah Sachs-WetstoneGHTC

Hannah supports advocacy and communications activities and member coordination for GHTC. Her role includes developing and disseminating digital communications, tracking member and policy news, engaging coalition members, and organizing meetings and events.Prior to joining GHTC, more about this author