Until recently, global funders of new products for neglected diseases had to make major investment decisions in the absence of information on funding gaps or duplications, or the activities of other investors. This information is now available in annual reports that collect, collate and analyse global data on product development funding for over 30 neglected diseases.
The G-FINDER public search facility provides on-line database access: click here to search the G-FINDER data.
The last decade has seen remarkable progress in the fight against malaria, with good political support and funding. However, increasing drug resistance is threatening efforts to control the disease, while the global financial crisis continues to trigger reductions in funding for research and international aid. As priorities for future funding are decided, projecting malaria R&D funding needs (and tracking global progress towards these) will be critical to understanding whether current funding is adequate, and to encouraging more and better targeted malaria R&D funding.
Policy Cures has been commissioned by the PATH Malaria Vaccine Initiative to update the 2010 report, “Staying the course? Malaria research and development in a time of economic uncertainty”, which documented global investments in malaria R&D and illustrated the gap between malaria R&D funding and future funding needs overall and for each product area, including malaria drugs, vaccines, diagnostics and vector control products. This follow-on project will provide an update since the last report, including on malaria R&D funding levels and trends, future malaria R&D funding needs, and the value for money of investments in malaria R&D.
Tackling malaria is now one of the foremost priorities for the global health and development communities, with ambitious plans in place to scale up malaria control to progress towards elimination and ultimately eradication. The Global Malaria Action Plan (GMAP) set out a cohesive and comprehensive global framework for action to achieve these goals, but if the ultimate goal of malaria control efforts is malaria elimination and eradication, a specific set of tools and strategies will be required. To this end, the Malaria Eradication Research Agenda (malERA) identified key knowledge gaps and tools needed to achieve this eradication goal.
Policy Cures has been commissioned by the Malaria Eradication Scientific Alliance (MESA) to build on the work of malERA to advance the science of malaria eradication. We will estimate the likely R&D costs for elimination and eradication, measure current R&D investments and identify the expected funding gap in meeting the malaria elimination and eradication R&D agenda.
In recent years, European investment in R&D targeting poverty related neglected diseases (PRNDs) has increased considerably, both from member states and from the European Commission’s Framework Programme 7 (FP7). With European policymakers currently debating the eighth EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation – Horizon 2020 - and with financial belt-tightening all round, it’s time to take stock. Is Europe’s investment in PRNDs worthwhile? What is the return on investment in health and economic terms for the developing world and for Europe itself? Does the European approach work?
Policy Cures has been commissioned to analyse these issues by The German Foundation for World Population (DSW) in Brussels. The report was launched in Brussels on September 26th 2012.
The United States Government has been at the forefront of the development of new technologies that have brought about dramatic improvements in global health over the last half-century. US funding, scientific expertise and research capacity have played a lead role in eradication or near eradication of smallpox and polio and important advances in the control of diseases such as malaria and HIV.
However, despite these achievements, there can be a lack of recognition among some US policy makers of the critical role R&D has played in driving this progress. The global financial crisis and high levels of debt have also led to pressure to scale back US government investment in global health R&D. Now, more than ever, there is a pressing need to reaffirm the benefits of global health R&D investments and the cost effectiveness of past funding in order to inform policy making, raise awareness about US leadership in global health R&D and leverage support for continued US Government investment in R&D.
Policy Cures were therefore commissioned by the Global Health Technologies Coalition to analyse the impact and benefits of US Government global health R&D investments. It was found that the United States government is the largest funder of global health research and development (R&D) in the world, investing $12.7 billion over the past 10 years in the creation of new vaccines, drugs, diagnostics, and other products for neglected diseases of the developing world. That funding helped lead to the development of more than half of the 45 new health products in the last decade that have been used to save lives around the world.
The bulk of the HIV burden lies in low-income countries (LICs), however available anti-retroviral therapies (ARVs) are often poorly suited to the needs of these patients in terms of cost, formulation, ease of administration and degree of laboratory monitoring required; many ARVs have also not been trialled and approved for all relevant HIV-infected patients, including children and infants, pregnant women and patients with co-infections such as TB, hepatitis and malaria. These problems are exacerbated for more expensive and complex second- and third-line ARVs. As a result patients in LICs predominantly receive ARVs that are more toxic, less effective and less well-suited than those for HIV-infected patients in the West. This project analyses potential operating models for development of optimal ARVs for LICs, with a view to developing a model that delivers the right drugs in the most timely fashion, and is cost effective, sustainable and financially feasible.
Funding for malaria R&D has increased dramatically over the past decade. But is it enough to deliver the products needed to achieve malaria control? And are investments efficiently allocated across basic research, drugs, vaccines, diagnostics and vector control products?
Using funding needs estimates from the Global Malaria Action Plan (GMAP) and others, we are conducting a detailed analysis of malaria R&D donor and recipient data from 2004-2009 to identify whether R&D funding is likely to meet and match projected needs.
We have been commissioned by GAVI to investigate and provide a landscape analysis of vaccines in clinical development to support GAVI’s strategic goal of shaping vaccine markets with regard to pricing and supply security and making catalytic investments to facilitate introduction of appropriate vaccines.
This involved analysis of vaccine pipelines for pneumonia, rotavirus, dengue, malaria and typhoid; identification of bottlenecks to vaccine development and production; examples of collaborative efforts to overcome these bottlenecks; and analysis of gap areas where new initiatives are needed to expedite the vaccine pipeline.
The recent development of new vaccines against global diseases such as rotavirus and pneumonia has the potential to save millions of lives in the world’s poorest countries. But how can the GAVI Alliance further ensure that it has the evidence to support sound decision-making and impact assessment for the introduction of these products?
We are exploring GAVI’s role in supporting research related to the introduction of new vaccines and options for the processes for determining a research agenda, commissioning research and managing research grantees. This work will help inform GAVI’s thinking on potential options and next steps in this area.
Mobilising new resources to fight infectious diseases of poverty is increasingly difficult in the current financial climate, with funders facing challenging economic decisions on how to most effectively provide support. This study explores priority setting practices for funders of R&D on infectious diseases of poverty, and seeks to identify current and future funding trends in the field.
Regulatory processes can cause major delays in African patients receiving new neglected disease drugs. This report identifies hurdles to safe rapid drug registration for African use, and suggests solutions to streamline regional and international regulatory policy.
African governments face a plethora of challenges in achieving medicines access for their populations, either by importation, local manufacture or local research and development into new products. Working with developing world partners, we developed a decision-making tool and supporting documents to guide African government investment into pharmaceutical innovation.
Rapid development of the malaria product pipeline has led to fears of clinical trial capacity overload and funding shortfalls. Liaising closely with African and Western trial sites and malaria product developers, this report analyses malaria trial site demand and supply, and quantifies funding demand for malaria drug and vaccine development
Prior to 2005, there was a widespread belief that little was happening in neglected disease R&D and scepticism over the roles of Product Development Partnerships and industry. By analysing portfolios and business models, this report demonstrated a burgeoning product pipeline, identified the main players and mapped out new business models and incentives to support this.