Breakthroughs Blog

Breakthroughs brings you stories of bright ideas and bold innovations in global health.

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Ansley Kahn
Research Roundup: Kenya 3rd country to roll out malaria vaccine, scientists gene-edit stem cells to treat HIV, and an affordable new test for dengue

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

Recent

Research Roundup: Drones to bolster supply chains, a mobile vaccine manufacturing kit, expanding access to new insecticides, and Zika vaccines

To bypass unreliable roads, a project funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the United Nations Population Fund is using drones to deliver contraceptives, condoms, and other health supplies to remote villages in sub-Saharan Africa.

GHTC
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WHO Board addresses health R&D, sets March meeting to discuss CEWG resolution

Over 1,000 attendees, a longer than ever agenda—with time management by a song for punishment and a chocolate Caramello Koala as a reward—the 138th World Health Organization (WHO) Executive Board (EB), chaired with humor and efficiency by Precious Matsoso, Director-General of the Department of Health, South Africa, concluded Saturday, January 30 after six days of discussion and debate.

GHTC
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New affordable oral cholera vaccine receives WHO prequalification

In January, GHTC member International Vaccine Institute (IVI) announced that a new oral cholera vaccine it developed in partnership with Korean biotech company EuBiologics, Co. Ltd.—Euvichol®—received prequalification from the World Health Organization (WHO), paving the way for the vaccine to be purchased by global procurement bodies like Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance and UNICEF.

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Research Roundup: Zika edition

The US National Institutes of Health (NIH) is ramping up research for a vaccine against Zika, a mosquito-borne virus which is “spreading explosively” throughout the Americas and can cause birth defects, including microcephaly, which is associated with stunted head and brain development in newborns.

GHTC
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Setting the stage: UN High-Level Panel on Access to Medicines to consider IP, trade, human rights, and access to medicine

In November 2015, United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon convened a High-Level Panel on Access to Medicines to discuss and develop solutions to promote innovation and access to essential medicines, vaccines, diagnostics, and other health technologies needed to ensure health and well-being around the world.

GHTC
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Major R&D gaps exist for eight pathogens most likely to cause next epidemic

Last month, the World Health Organization (WHO) convened experts to determine which emerging diseases could become “the next Ebola”—those pathogens most likely to cause the next major epidemic.

GHTC
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Research Roundup: an Ebola vaccine, stillbirths, and antimicrobial R&D

Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, signed an advanced purchase commitment, pledging to spend US$5 million on an Ebola vaccine currently under development by pharmaceutical company Merck & Co.

GHTC
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WHO’s Doing What?

With the New Year underway, GHTC is looking forward to a busy spring of multilateral organization meetings—with a number of them impacting global health research and development (R&D). First on the agenda is the World Health Organization (WHO) Executive Board (EB) meeting on January 25–30 in Geneva, where the EB will receive updates on a number of topics and make important decisions, particularly around how to proceed with the next steps of the Consultative Expert Working Group on Research and Development: Financing and Coordination (CEWG) process.

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Research Roundup: Vaccines for cholera and river blindness and an online platform for pooled procurement

Last week, an oral cholera vaccine received World Health Organization (WHO) prequalification, a process of regulatory review which paves the way for procurement by United Nations agencies and international organizations.

GHTC
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Harnessing health innovation to achieve the global goals

On January 1, the countdown to 2030 officially began with the implementation of the new global development goals.

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Welcoming the National Action Plan for Combating Multidrug-Resistant Tuberculosis: Important first steps, critical next steps

In this guest post, Dara Erck, vice president of external affairs at Aeras, discusses the new White House National Action Plan for Combating Multidrug-Resistant Tuberculosis and how it could accelerate research and development (R&D) of new technologies to combat multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB).

Aeras
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Obama highlights global health and innovation in State of the Union

GHTC has long championed US leadership in global health and innovation, and we were encouraged to see President Barack Obama highlight these themes in his State of the Union address.

GHTC
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Research Roundup: Ebola treatments, drug-resistant gonorrhea, and zoonotic tuberculosis

A recent clinical trial found that convalescent plasma therapy, a treatment in which the blood plasma is taken from survivors of a disease and used to treat current patients, did not prove to be effective against Ebola.

GHTC
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Research Roundup: MERS vaccine for camels, lessons learned from Ebola R&D, and more

A new vaccine against Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) could save human lives by boosting immunity in camels. MERS, a virus that causes an innocuous cold in camels but kills nearly one-third of human patients, is primarily found in the Arabian Peninsula, where camels are common and 12 percent are infected at any given time.

GHTC
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365 review: Top global health innovation news of 2015

As 2015 draws to a close, the Global Health Technologies Coalition is reflecting on the past year in global health innovation.

GHTC
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Research Roundup: flesh-eating bacteria treatment, Hepatitis C in Egypt, and access to compounds for drug discovery

Global Health Now took an in-depth look at the flesh-eating fungus mycetoma—which enters the body through cuts, and can result in swollen, deformed limbs—in a three-part series on this Untold Global Health Story of 2015.

GHTC
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PATH/Patrick McKern
Global Health Innovation Act has passed the House of Representatives

Last month, Representatives Albio Sires (D-NJ) and Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL) introduced a new piece of legislation—the Global Health Innovation Act (H.R. 2241)—that would strengthen global health research and development (R&D) programming at the US Agency for International Development (USAID).

GHTC
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TB Alliance
Fruit-flavored drugs to saves kids’ lives: First correctly-dosed, child-friendly TB treatments developed

Early this month, GHTC member TB Alliance and its partners announced the creation of the first-ever appropriate, child-friendly tuberculosis (TB) medicine in the correct doses.

TB Alliance
TB Alliance
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A second chance for a TB research movement

In this guest post, Mike Frick, TB/HIV project officer at the Treatment Action Group (TAG), reflects on activist calls for greater investment in tuberculosis (TB) research and development (R&D) at the 46th Union World Conference on Lung Health and the stagnation of global TB R&D funding at a time of growing drug resistance.

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Research Roundup: Preterm birth indicators, African sleeping sickness treatment, and the world’s first dengue vaccine

Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) received a grant from the Global Alliance to Prevent Prematurity and Stillbirth, a member of the GHTC, to study the human microbiome in search of biomarkers to predict preterm birth.

GHTC
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