January 20, 2015

Research Roundup: Clinical trial data sharing, vaccines to look forward to, and public-private partnerships for global health research and development

Senior Program Assistant

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

Johnson & Johnson announced that it will share detailed information on its clinical trials through Yale University’s Open Data Access Project. This will include data on all Johnson & Johnson medical devices, diagnostics, and drugs approved since the beginning of 2014. "An open data movement is really gaining momentum," according to Dr. Victor Dzau, president of the Institute of Medicine, however "we need to develop a culture that supports data sharing, and we need to provide incentives and develop trust." The European Medicines Agency, which regulates drug approvals in Europe, is also contributing to the open data movement, and plans to publish detailed data for all new drugs approved by the agency.

The Japan Times took an in-depth look at the Global Health Innovation Technology Fund (GHIT), a Tokyo-based member of the Global Health Technologies Coalition and a partnership between the Japanese government, five major pharmaceutical companies, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and the United Nations Development Program. GHIT seeks to promote the research and development of treatments for infectious diseases by subsidizing the costs for biotech companies and facilitating partnerships between the private and public sector. The Fund has contributed to the development of 30 drugs since its establishment in 2013, including several neglected tropical diseases such as leishmaniasis, schistosomiasis, and dengue fever.

The ONE blog identified five major, deadly diseases for which vaccines are currently being developed. The blog highlights challenges to development and provides updates on leading vaccine candidates for HIV/AIDS, Malaria, Tuberculosis, Ebola, and cancers, including liver cancer caused by hepatitis C.