October 31, 2013

Research Roundup: What we’re reading this week

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.

At the annual Grand Challenges meeting in Brazil this month, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation announced a new partnership with pharmaceutical companies to accelerate vaccine research and development (R&D). For the first project, the Gates Foundation will partner with GlaxoSmithKline on early-stage research for vaccine thermostability.

According to studies published in Nature, a potential new HIV treatment has a "profound and unprecedented" impact on the virus. The trials were performed by Harvard Medical School and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

GHTC member Treatment Action Group released a new report on tuberculosis (TB) research funding. The report finds that after seven years of slow and unsteady increases in funding, TB R&D investors reported a drop in spending in 2012 that threatens to undermine the tenuous gains made since 2005.

The Centers of Disease Control and Prevention released a report stating that the number of malaria cases in the United States is at the highest level in forty years. Nearly all the cases were Americans or foreign travelers bringing it into the country. About two-thirds were infected in Africa, where malaria is common.

A new analysis published in The Lancet Global Health found that only 37—or four percent—of the 850 drugs and vaccines registered from 2000 to 2011 were for neglected diseases. The study also found that just 1 percent of existing clinical trials are for the development of tools for neglected diseases.