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George Institute receives Gates Foundation grant to survey funding flows

A team of international health experts is launching a major study to track global funding for research and development (R&D) for neglected diseases in developing countries by surveying global public, private and philanthropic investments. As funding for R&D for neglected diseases has increased, donors do not have a complete overview of how much is currently being spent and on what diseases, which makes determining funding gaps difficult. The George Institute for International Health received a 5 year $US8.8 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to collect and report global investment into R&D for neglected diseases.

Too often, global health funders must base substantial R&D investment decisions on out-of-date, unreliable information. They lack information about how much or where to invest, or how their investments sit in the context of overall funding flows and priorities, said Dr Mary Moran, Project Leader at the George Institute. By providing an updated and in depth overview, we hope to help donors around the world determine where their investments are most needed, and prevent duplication of effort she added.

Annually for a five year period, The George Institute will survey and analyse public and private global funders, intermediaries and developers, collecting data through an online survey. The survey will examine all aspects of product R&D funding from basic research, through discovery and development, to post-registration activities that support product introduction. It will measure R&D investment into new drugs, vaccines, diagnostics, microbicides and other tools for tropical diseases such as malaria and sleeping sickness, as well as developing-country strains of global diseases such as pneumonia, meningitis and HIV/AIDS, which are often overlooked by product developers that typically prioritize industrialized country markets.

We hope that better information about global funding for R&D for neglected diseases will encourage new investments, and help ensure they are targeted for maximum impact, said Dr. Regina Rabinovich, Director of Infectious Diseases Development at the Gates Foundation.

The project maintains The George Institutes focus on delivering quality public health outcomes. The George Institute for International Health is a multinational not-for-profit research organisation with offices in Australia, China, India and the United Kingdom. The Institute works towards improvement and development of global health through undertaking high quality research, and applying this research to health policy and practice. Given its widely acknowledged work on neglected disease product pipelines and funding, the Health Policy Division of the George Institute is uniquely placed to deliver such an important and vital project.


Contact: Emma Orpilla
Research Australia

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