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IAS Conference produces statement calling for sustainable investments in HIV/AIDS research

As the 9th International Aids Society (IAS) Conference wrapped up in Paris, organizers - and the French Agency for Research on AIDS and Viral Hepatitis (ANRS) - released the ‘Paris Statement: HIV Science Matters’. The statement emphasizes the importance of research to end HIV/AIDS and calls for sustainable investments in the field. Noting that the US is the leading contributor to the fight against HIV/AIDS, it also encourages US President Trump not to cut budget lines that would undermine efforts.

According to an article from Le Monde, the US disbursed €4.2 billion for HIV programs in 2016, well above the next largest contributions from the UK (€645.6 million) and France (€242.4 million).

News article – Le Monde (in French)

Paris Statement - IAS

France Global health Global health R&D

AECID calls for proposals on innovative development projects

Spanish development agency AECID has announced a new call for proposals from private companies, NGOs, and research institutions for scientific and innovative solutions to challenges in developing countries. With an overall budget of €3 million, the objective of the call is to address issues in key sectors, such as basic social services, the economy, and the environment.

Proposals must be submitted to AECID between August 25 to September 21, 2017. 

Press release - AECID (in Spanish)

Spain Global health R&D

ISGlobal presents paper on global health and renewable energy

In collaboration with the Madrid Polytechnic University, Spanish think tank Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal) has published a report analyzing the potential links between Spain’s development policy and innovative, value-add sectors such as health R&D and renewable energies. Entitled “The Virtuous Circles of the Spanish Cooperation”, the policy brief advocates for focusing development funding on strategic areas where Spain has a competitive advantage for a dual-purpose: to benefit Spanish research initiatives while creating a positive impact in developing countries. The report also recommends increased cooperation between public and private actors to achieve the SDGs. 

News article - ISGlobal

Spain Global health Global health R&D

Highlights from G20 Summit in Hamburg

Germany hosted this year’s G20 leaders’ Summit in Hamburg from July 7 to July 8, 2017. The heads of the 19 G20 nations, along with the leaders of the EU, discussed topics covering trade, climate, terrorism, security, immigration, health, Africa, and education. A declaration released on July 10, 2017, details the consensus reached. It also reveals how agreement in some areas, such as terrorism and health, was far-reaching, while in others, such as climate change and international trade, it was more limited. 

Highlights across topics include:

Health: 

  • focused on the coordinating role of the WHO
  • emphasized the importance of investments in health-systems strengthening
  • recognized the need to eradicate polio and fight antimicrobial resistance
  • underlined the necessity of sufficient funding for health emergencies and preparedness
  • declared willingness to invest more in global health R&D.

Focus on Africa: 

  • launched the G20 Africa Partnership, which seeks to fight poverty and promote economic development through support of infrastructure, education, capacity-building, and investment frameworks
  • adopted Germany’s Compacts with Africa as a tool to foster private investments in African countries that show willingness to reform governance.

Youth employment:

  • launched G20 Initiative for Rural Youth Employment, which has a particular focus on Africa and commits to helping creating up to 1.1 million new jobs benefitting young people by 2022, including through strengthening support to the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program (GAFSP)
  • committed to increase support for innovative, employment-oriented skills development programs for at least 5 million young people over the next five years, with particular attention to rural areas.

Education:

  • emphasized the importance of vocational training and e-skills, especially for women
  • introduced a new ‘International Finance Facility’ for education.

Climate change:

  • no agreement met on a joint position due to the US’ decision to leave the Paris Agreement
  • the other 19 members, excluding the US, committed to implement the nationally-set climate goals, as outlined in the Paris Agreement, as soon as possible
  • they also recognized, in an annex on energy and climate finance, the need to significantly increase funding to climate change mitigation and adaptation.

Declaration - G20

News article - Deutsche Welle

G20 leaders launch international R&D hub to address AMR and TB

At the G20 Summit in Hamburg, Germany, leaders agreed to create an international collaborative hub to foster the research and development (R&D) of new tools to tackle antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and tuberculosis (TB). Under the provisional leadership of Germany, this new R&D hub will coordinate research efforts, maximize the impact of new and existing basic and clinical research initiatives, and foster product development.

The TB community, including the Stop TB Partnership and the TB Alliance, applauded the initiative. They further encouraged G20 leaders to elevate global health as a top priority on their agendas, and to ramp up the fight against AMR and drug-resistant TB.

Communiqué - G20 

Press release - TB Alliance

Press release - Stop TB Partnership

EMA and EUnetHTA launch gateway to improve data alignment

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) and the European Network for Health Technology Assessment (EUnetHTA) are creating a single gateway for requests for parallel consultations with EMA and HTA bodies in EU Member States focusing on evidence generation for decision-making on marketing and health technology assessment. In order for the new gateway to work, medicines developers will need to notify simultaneously EMA and EUnetHTA of their intention to request parallel advice. EMA and the EUnetHTA hope this will increase mutual understanding and problem-solving, improve coordination and participation of HTA bodies, and streamline logistics. 

Website – European Medicines Agency

European Commission adopts concrete AMR plan

Concerned about rising deaths from antimicrobial resistant (AMR) infections, the European Commission has adopted a new plan to: 1) improve evidence, coordination, surveillance and control measures to help Member States establish, implement, and monitor their own national AMR action plans; 2) boost research, development and innovation, close knowledge gaps, provide new solutions to control the spread of AMR; and 3) intensify EU efforts worldwide. This new “One Health” approach will disseminate information based on a limited number of key AMR outcome indicators through the One Health network, which includes national chief veterinary officers and chief public health officers.

Publication - European Commission

EDCTP launches project on HIV-associated cryptococcal meningitis in Botswana

Following a nearly €10 million funding agreement signed in January 2017, the European and Developing Country Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP) has launched a project to evaluate a new treatment course for cryptocollal meningitis – which causes almost 20% of HIV-related deaths – in a clinical trial. The project will be coordinated by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Project coordinators hope the new treatment will provide safe, effective, and shortened treatment for the disease in low-resource settings.

Website - EDCTP

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

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