June 29, 2014

Research Roundup: Microbicides, hookworm vaccines, #MomAndBaby, pediatric HIV treatments, and more

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.

Last week, US policymakers and global health advocates came together to talk about progress made on preventing maternal and child deaths. The US Agency for International Development (USAID) hosted a high-level forum called Acting on the Call: Ending Preventable Child and Maternal Deaths to both celebrate progress and assess the challenges that remain.

The National Institutes of Health has awarded Boston Medical Center $861,000 to train Ugandans basic research for tuberculosis and emerging diseases. Boston Medical Center is one of five institutions to receive similar funding to enhance infectious disease research in low- and middle-income countries.

Sabin Vaccine Institute’s Peter Hotez writes in the Huffington Post about the latest developments in hookworm vaccine development and the efforts of HOOKVAC—a global consortium uniting academic, medical, and research partners to find a vaccine to prevent neglected tropical disease hookworm, which currently more than 400 million people suffer from.

ASPIRE—one of two late-stage clinical trials for a microbicide to protect women from HIV—has completed enrollment of trial participants, with 2,629 women from 15 trial sites in Malawi, South Africa, Uganda, and Zimbabwe. Now that enrollment is complete, we could potentially find out results from this pivotal trial by late 2015, early 2016.

GHTC member Jhpiego has been awarded the US government’s largest project to end preventable maternal and child deaths. The Maternal and Child Survival Program, a 5-year, $500 million agreement supported by the USAID, will accelerate the rapid expansion of innovative, high-impact health approaches in 24 priority countries in order to save the lives of every woman and child in need.

At an event last week launching the Pediatric HIV Treatment Initiative, panelists discussed the need for “the right medicines for pediatric HIV”—including the need for simplified treatments, and developing, producing, and distributing these medicines to children in low- and middle-income countries.