G-FINDER report shows Germany is fourth largest donor for global health R&D

The 2019 G-FINDER report found that Germany spent record-high levels on global health research and development (R&D) in 2018. In 2018, Germany was the fourth-largest donor for R&D, after the US, UK, and European Union, spending €73 million (US$82 million) on R&D in 2018. This marks an increase of 40% since 2016.

Most funding came from the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), which contributed almost 70% of Germany’s R&D funding in 2018 (€50 million or US$56 million), followed by the German Research Foundation (DFG) contributing 26% (€19 million or US$21 million) and the German Federal Ministry of Health (BMG), which contributed 6% (€4.6 million or US$5.2 million).

G-FINDER, an initiative of Policy Cures Research which reports on R&D, released its 12th annual report in January 2020, synthesizing data from 2018. The report's data is based on a yearly survey of major funders and developers in the global health R&D sector.

2019 Annual Report: Uneven Progress - G-FINDER

Data visualization tool – G-FINDER

Germany Global health R&D

G-FINDER report shows European Commission increased funding for poverty-related and neglected disease research for second consecutive year

The European Commission increased its funding for poverty-related and neglected diseases (PRND) research and development (R&D) for the second consecutive year, becoming the third-largest public funder globally for this research behind only the US and UK.

Policy Cures Research released its latest annual G-FINDER Report for 2019 which reviewed funding in 2018 for diseases that affect low-income countries. The report found that funding was up overall, mirroring trends from the world’s top three donors. Investment from pharmaceutical companies has also reached its highest level ever. However, while funding for HIV, tuberculosis, and malaria grew, R&D spending for neglected tropical diseases has decreased over the decade, down by 10% compared to 2009. 

The Commission’s funding for R&D is channelled through Horizon 2020, its research framework program. Most of the funding was spent through Horizon’s 2020’s European & Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP), which provided €114 million (US$127 million) in funding for PRND in 2018, or 5.2% of all global public sector funding. Most of EDCTP’s spending was for research on tuberculosis, kinetoplastid diseases, malaria, helminth infections, and HIV/AIDS, and most focused on clinical development.

The Commission has proposed an EU-Africa Global Health Partnership as a successor for EDCTP under the next EU research framework program, Horizon Europe. 

Blog post – DSW

EU Factsheet - G-Finder 2019

EU Global health R&D

2019 G-FINDER report breaks down global funding for neglected disease R&D

G-FINDER, an initiative of Policy Cures Research which reports on global health research and development (R&D), has released its 12th annual report, synthesizing data from 2018. The report's data is based on a yearly survey of major funders and developers in the global health R&D sector.

Central findings of the report include:

  • Funding for tools combatting neglected diseases topped US$4 billion-- the highest on record;
  • Global funding for neglected disease R&D increased by US$290 million in 2018, or 7.9%-- the largest funding increase on record and the first time ever that funding increased for three years consecutively;
  • Despite record growth in other areas, funding for the WHO neglected tropical diseases has barely increased over the last decade;
  • HIV/AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis (TB) received over two-thirds of all global funding for neglected disease R&D in 2018 (US$2.8 billion, or 69%); and
  • Despite record investment levels (US$2.6 billion), the public sector's share of total funding fell to its lowest ever, due to strong growth from private sector donors.

2019 Annual Report: Uneven Progress - G-FINDER

Members of European Parliament call on EU to fill funding gap for tuberculosis research

Members of the European Parliament called for the EU to help fill the €1.0 billion (US$1.1 billion) funding gap for tuberculosis research and innovation.

Parliamentarian Frédérique Ries and former member of parliament Martin Horwood hosted an event at the European Parliament organized by the Global TB Caucus and supported by DSW called 'New tools for the world’s oldest disease: the role of the European Union in fighting Tuberculosis'. The event speakers urged the EU to help support the development of improved tools against tuberculosis, such as new diagnostics, to help identify the estimated 3 million people with active tuberculosis who remain undiagnosed and to address the lack of treatment options for drug-resistant strains of the disease.

European organisations have already contributed to the development of about 70% of the tuberculosis vaccine pipeline, often with EU funds. The EU’s Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI), an EU partnership with industry, has launched new calls for ‘Innovations to accelerate vaccine development and manufacture’ and ‘Academia and industry united innovation and treatment for tuberculosis (UNITE4TB)’. 

Event presentation - DSW

EU Global health R&D

UK faces calls to take global leadership on ending preventable child deaths

UNICEF has published a new report calling on the UK government to take global leadership on ending preventable child deaths. The UK Secretary of State for International Development, Alok Sharma, is already on record saying that the UK will prioritize investments to end preventable deaths of mothers, newborns, and children by 2030. To achieve this goal, UNICEF urges the UK to invest in building strong primary health care services.

The UNICEF report identifies five central challenges that must be addressed in order to end preventable deaths of children under the age of five:

  1. Limited access to quality primary health care, which causes 7,000 newborn deaths every day;
  2. Unequal access to vaccines, which results in the deaths of 1.5 million children under five every year;
  3. Pneumonia, which is the main infectious disease-causing death among children under five;
  4. Malnutrition, which leads to nearly half of deaths for children under five; and
  5. Diarrhea which is the fifth-leading cause of death among children under five.

While the world has made major progress toward reducing child mortality rates, 53 countries (predominately in sub-Saharan Africa) are still not set to meet their commitments for ending preventable deaths of newborns and children.

News article - Devex

Report - UNICEF

Queensland University fast tracks coronavirus vaccine research with CEPI funding

Researchers at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia, are now working on a vaccine for the coronavirus. They hope to develop this vaccine in as little as 16 weeks with the help of new rapid medical response technology and with funding from the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovation (CEPI).

The researchers have been working in partnership with CEPI on medical technology aimed at reducing the time it takes to create vaccines for new viruses. CEPI is also funding innovative work on similar rapid-response technologies with Imperial College in London.

News article - ABC Australia

Leading French researchers say Global Fund's new strategy should parallel SDGs

The Global Fund to fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria will soon start designing a new strategy for the period after 2022. In an open editorial, five leading French researchers, including Nobel Laureate François Barré-Sinoussi, suggested the Global Fund more directly link its strategy with the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The five prominent academics acknowledged the Global Fund's accomplishments in fighting the three global pandemics after which it's named but criticized what they see as a comparatively low contribution to efforts to strengthen health-care systems institutionally. In addition to more clear linkages with the SDGs, the Global Fund should also assume a leading role in renewing funding for global health operational research, according to the researchers. 

Editorial - The Lancet

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New EU research commissioner encourages member states to support increased funding for research

In an interview with Science|Business, the new European commissioner for research, Mariya Gabriel, said she hopes EU member states will support the proposed increase in research funding of €120 billion (US$133.3 billion) in the next long-term EU budget from 2021-2027. Gabriel called the funding "the best gift Europe could make for itself” and recognized the need to “remain mobilized until the last minute” to advocate for research funding in the long-term budget, the multiannual financial framework. 
Gabriel said she does not plan to reopen negotiations on the legislation for the proposed research framework program for 2021-2027, Horizon Europe. Member states and the European Parliament have already reached a provisional agreement on the program’s legislation, excluding final budget figures which will be decided as a part of the overall long-term budget agreement. 

News article - Science|Business

Australian researchers discover breakthrough in malaria transmission prevention

Australian researchers have identified a means of blocking transmission of the Falciparum strain of malaria.  This enables killing the parasite while it is present in red blood cells by inhibiting a specific enzyme Plasmepsin V. The discovery should allow the development of new preventative therapies, potentially blocking both sickness and transmission.

News article - SciDevNet

Norwegian-led Ebola vaccine development named one of the decade's most important research findings

National Geographic has named the Ebola vaccine one of the decade's 20 most important scientific achievements. Testing of the Ebola vaccine was initiated in response to the major 2014-2016 Ebola outbreak in West Africa which swept the region, taking 11,300 lives.

At that time, the vaccine had already been researched, but had not been tested on humans. In 2015, Norway was leading the testing of the vaccine in the field, and many lives were saved. John-Arne Røttingen, managing director of the Research Council of Norway, led the work and the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs was among the first to fund the project. The project was a collaboration between governments and private foundations.

Article – Forskning (in Norwegian)

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