Research Roundup: What we’re reading this week
In this regular feature on Breakthroughs, we highlight some of the most interesting reads in global health research from the past week.
Yesterday, Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) introduced in the US Senate a significant piece of global health legislation that would strengthen global health research programming within the US Agency for International Development and improve coordination of global health research and development across the US government. The legislation—known as the 21st Century Global Health Technology Act—is companion legislation to the House version of the bill, HR 1515, which was introduced by Representatives Albio Sires (D-NJ) and Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL) in April 2013.
Knight Therapeutics—the developer of a new treatment for the parasitic disease leishmaniasis—is looking to be the first company to auction off the priority review voucher it received from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The company received this voucher—which it can redeem to have any drug moved to the front of FDA’s line for product review—following the approval of its leishmaniasis drug Impavido in late March.
A Guardian article on the vaccine cold chain discusses the logistical challenges for the global health community in delivering and administering vaccines—which require constant refrigeration for efficacy—in environments with unreliable electricity and infrastructure. It calls for the next generation of vaccines to be developed with the goal of eliminating a burdensome cold chain and notes the success of the MenAfriVac™ vaccine for meningitis which can be used for up to four days outside the cold chain.
During the World Health Assembly, UNITAID, the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative, and the Medicines Patent Pool launched a new initiative to develop and deliver improved treatments for children suffering from HIV and AIDS. The initiative–known as the Paediatric HIV Treatment Initiative (PHTI)–will focus on three areas: (1) research and development; (2) intellectual property; and (3) market-shaping to ensure availability of treatment regiments for children living with HIV and AIDS.
The World Health Organization released a new document on its efforts to find innovative financing for neglected diseases. The documents states there is a $50 million budget line for demonstration projects and the Global Health R&D Observatory over four years, but did not make clear where the observatory would be situated.