European Medicines Agency prepares for Brexit

The Management Board of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) has begun to prepare for the likelihood that the UK will become a “third country” under its protocols starting in March 2019. EMA, which is currently located in London, regulates the effectiveness, safety, and quality of medicines while maintaining a regulatory environment supporting innovation and development of new medicines. Due to the exit of the UK from the EU, the EMA must prepare for re-location to an EU member state, as well as  redistribution of workload and provision of guidance and information to pharmaceutical companies in this new landscape. 

Press release - EMA

EDCTP and Mundo Sano Foundation agree to co-fund research on NIDs

The Mundo Sano Foundation and the European & Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP) have agreed to partner on research funding for neglected infectious diseases (NIDs). During the next two EDCTP calls for proposals, the private foundation will contribute up to €2 million on top of the EDCTP’s budgeted €30 million for clinical and product-focused implementation research. The two calls for proposals will be launched once the European Commission approves the EDCTP 2017 work plan.

News report - EDCTP

EU, Japan, and US to coordinate fight against anti-microbial resistance by aligning data standards

Drug regulatory agencies from the EU, Japan, and the US have agreed to align their data requirements to stimulate the development of new treatments to fight antimicrobial resistance. Each regulatory agency will now develop streamlined guidance documents and advise medicine developers in line with the new agreement. The agreement took place at a high-level meeting in Vienna, which follows an initial meeting that took place in September 2016 where the agencies discussed regulatory approaches for the evaluation of new antibacterial agents.

Press release - European Medicines Agency

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Canada’s development minister announces US$78 million to eradicate polio

Canada’s Minister of International Development and La Francophonie, Marie-Claude Bibeau, announced that Canada will contribute CAD100 million (US$78 million) over three years to the Global Polio Eradication Initiative's Endgame Strategic Plan, which aims to eradicate polio by 2020.  Canada has been a long-time supporter of the fight against polio, contributing CAD600 million (US$470 million) to its eradication since 2000. The announcement was made at 'Drop to Zero', a global polio pledging event held in Atlanta, Georgia, in June 2017, and is part of Canada’s commitment to eliminating the disease polio by 2030. 

Press release - Global Affairs Canada

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Australia commits A$18 million to global polio eradication

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has announced that the Australian government will contribute new funding to the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) to support the global fight to end polio. Australia will provide a further A$18 million (US$13.5 million) over two years (2019-2020) to contribute to ending polio transmission in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Nigeria – the only countries where polio remains active. This announcement brings Australia's total funding for GPEI to A$104 million (US$78 million) since 2011.

Press release - Minister for Foreign Affairs

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Italian health NGOs denounce lack of attention paid to health at G7

Several Italian health NGOs have claimed that this sector was a missing piece of the G7 Summit in Taormina, noting that the language around health in leaders’ communiqué is weak compared to the previous G7.  Representatives of a variety of organizations pointed out that this year health was not openly recognized as a human right, nor were there explicit references to Universal Health Coverage (UHC), GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance, or the Global Fund to Fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

News article - Sociale Corriere (in Italian)

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Leprosy Research Initiative and EDCTP partner to boost research

Pending formal European Commission approval of the 2017 European and Developing Countries Clinical Trial Partnership (EDCTP) work plan, the Leprosy Research Initiative (LRI) and EDCTP have joined together to enhance leprosy-related research. Together, they aim to leverage resources and pool funds to support clinical and implementation research in sub-Saharan Africa, particularly in relation to leprosy and neglected infectious diseases (NIDs) that are co-endemic with leprosy. The collaboration is part of two separate EDCTP calls for proposals targeting NIDs, which will be launched in 2017.

News update - EDCTP


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Australia invests A$5.9 million to combat AMR

Australian Minister for Health and Sport, Greg Hunt, has announced the government will invest A$5.9 million (US$4.4 million) from the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) to address the threat of antimicrobrial resistance (AMR). 

In line with Australia's National Antimicrobial Resistance Strategy 2015-2019, research will focus on the evolution and spread of AMR, the development of new products, and new approaches to prevent and manage resistance. This investment is part of the $65.9 million in MRFF disbursements announced in Australia's new budget. The A$20 billion (US$15 billion) MRFF offers a long-term source of funding for research to health improve outcomes, quality of life, and health system sustainability.

Press release - Minister Greg Hunt

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Australia announces first disbursements of Medical Research Futures Fund

On May 25, 2017, Australia’s Health and Sport Minister, Greg Hunt, announced the first grants from the Medical Research Futures Fund (MRFF)'s new research funding program. A$65.9 million (US$49.5 million) in grants will given to eight research projects, from drug trials and pilots of devices and services to clinical fellowships to projects addressing childhood obesity.

Health and medical research is one of the four pillars of the Australian government’s Long-Term National Health Plan. As such, the Australian government has committed to doubling its current medical research funding, allocating A$1.4 billion (US$1.1 billion) to the MRFF from 2020 to 2021.

Press release - Government of Australia

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Australia restructures grant program in health research

The Australian government’s National Health and Medical Research Council’s (NHMRC) has restructured its research funding program to reduce the burden on researchers applying for funds. Four new types of consolidated, five-year grants will now be available to high-performing researchers at all stages of their careers. The grants will offer more funding opportunities to interdisciplinary research teams and to clinical researchers who split their time between research and caring for patients.

The Australian government provides more than A$800 million (US$601 million) each year through the NHMRC for health and medical research. Implementation of the new funding schemes will begin in late-2018 to early-2019.

Press release - NHMRC

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