June 14, 2012

Research Roundup: What we’re reading this week

Communications Officer

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

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and US Agency for International Development Administrator Rajiv Shah were joined by more than 700 leaders from the private sector, government, and civil society for a major conference devoted to preventing childhood deaths worldwide. "Amid these financial threats and budgetary realities, it is inevitable that some will question the role of the United States in global development," Sen. Richard Lugar (R-IN) said at the conference. "But I would assert this morning that development assistance, when properly administered, remains a bargain for US national security and for our own economic and moral standing in the world."

Five new pharmaceutical companies have joined a National Institutes of Health (NIH) program that will pair researchers with certain pharmaceutical industry compounds to help scientists explore new treatment options for patients. The program, called Discovering New Therapeutic Uses for Existing Molecules, is run by the NIH's National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS).

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has decided to delay its final decision on whether the drug Truvada, made by Gilead Sciences, can be used by certain high-risk, HIV-negative people as a preventive measure against HIV. The FDA says its decision will be announced by September 14, 2012.

A Baltimore Sun letter-to-the-editor argues that there are more people living with tuberculosis (TB) “now than at any time in history.” The letter adds that prevention with “new vaccines is the only way to truly make TB a thing of history.”