September 22, 2014

Research Roundup: UNGA, public-private partnerships, new executive orders, neglected disease R&D grants, 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.

With the 69th session of the United Nations (UN) General Assembly going on this week in New York and the global community debating how best to refine the post-2015 development agenda, over 150 organizations and individuals signed a petition to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and Member States urging the UN to keep the research, development, and delivery of new and improved health tools at the heart of the post-2015 development agenda.

A new public-private partnership to fight against HIV/AIDS has been launched—part of a Clinton Global Initiative five-year Commitment to Action that will strengthen laboratory systems in sub-Saharan Africa. The $15 million, five-country collaboration—called Stronger Together—will leverage the expertise of each partner country to build up laboratory infrastructure, which remains critical to disease control and product development.

This week, the Obama administration announced a new set of federal executive actions to combat antibiotic-resistant bacteria in an effort to protect public health. The administration will put forth an executive order that would direct the federal government to work both domestically and internationally to reduce the emergence and spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Specifically for health research and development, the National Institutes of Health, Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, and the Food and Drug Administration will launch a $20 million prize to facilitate the development of a rapid diagnostic test that can be used by health providers to identify highly resistant bacterial infections.

GHTC member the Global Health Innovative Technology Fund (GHIT Fund) has awarded seven new grants totaling US$15.3 million to tackle malaria, Chagas disease, and dengue fever. The investments aim to speed up the development of promising drugs and vaccines to battle these three insect-borne diseases.