May 15, 2014

Research Roundup: What we’re reading this week

Marissa Chmiola
Communications Officer

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

Two recent announcements occurred regarding US international collaboration on global health research and development (R&D). Earlier this week, the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the Office of AIDS Research at the National Institutes of Health announced a collaborative project with the Indian Ministry of Science and Technology and Department of Biotechnology to fight tuberculosis in India as part of the Indo-US Vaccine Action Program. On Tuesday, the US Department of Health and Human Services and the European Commission released the first report of the Transatlantic Taskforce on Antimicrobial Resistance (TATFAR), which is a joint commitment by the US and EU to fight antimicrobial resistance.

Dr. Lucas Otieno Tina—a physician and researcher at the Kenya Medical Research Institute/US Army Medical Research Unit-Kenya collaboration program—writes in about why he has spent his career working to develop a malaria vaccine. He also discusses the promise of the RTS,S malaria vaccine and his involvement in the clinical trials for the vaccine supported by PATH’s Malaria Vaccine Initiative.

Last week, the NTD Roundtable—a group of global health partners committed to fighting neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) —hosted briefings in the US House of Representatives and Senate to discuss America’s leadership in the fight against NTDs and the need for greater NTD R&D. The briefings were attended by representatives from key House and Senate committees, the NGO community, and the African diplomatic corps. Among other topics, participants discussed the need for the development of new diagnostic tools and treatments for NTDs.

TechCrunch reports about a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to Sure Chill Company in Wales, which has developed a way to store vaccines at a proper temperature without the need for an electrified or gas-powered refrigeration source. The technology reduces problems with vaccine distribution caused by vaccines that lose their efficacy without proper refrigeration.