EU partners with billionaire
11.06.2013 - Bill Gates and EU Research Commissioner Máire Geoghegan-Quinn have signed a partnership to fight neglected diseases.
The multibillion partnership of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the European Commission aims at fighting and other poverty-related diseases such as HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis malaria, lymphatic filariasis or sleeping sickness, which affect more than one billion people globally.
"The foundation is completely committed to supporting efforts to develop life-saving products to help solve some of the world’s toughest problems“, said Gates. The partnership will develop at least one improved product per year, according to Geoghegan-Quinn.
Much of the work will be carried out through the European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP), which so far involves 16 European and 30 sub-Saharan African countries. The European Commission has proposed funding of up to €1 bn from the EU budget to match the contributions of the European partner countries.
Between 2007 and 2011, Gates and the EU invested around €2.4bn in R&D on neglected infectious diseases. Under the agreement, the partners will develop new drugs, vaccines and diagnostics suited to the needs of the population of poor countries , improve health systems and ensure the delivery of such products. Furthermore, the Gates Foundation and the Commission will launch a joint innovation prize in 2014 in order to honour current approaches to global health.