The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Announces New Global Health Grants
Tuberculosis and Malaria Are Among Diseases Targeted in New Round of Gifts
HYDERABAD, India -- On World TB Day, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation announced a series of health-related grants designed to increase access to advances in medical science, particularly for women and children in the developing world.
The grants total more than $133 million, and benefit some of the most vulnerable segments of the world's population including children, refugees, expectant mothers and women, many of whom are shouldering an increased share of the global disease burden.
"Advances in medical science combined with improved nutrition and expanded access to life- saving vaccines have resulted in longer, healthier lives in the United States and across the globe," said Patty Stonesifer, Co-chair and President of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. "At the same time, a troubling gap is widening between the health status of the world's rich and poor. Closing this gap and improving the health of women and children in the developing world are the overriding goals of the Foundation's Global Health Program."
"Tuberculosis has become an even deadlier disease because many strains have developed resistance to most or all of the available drug treatments," said Gordon W. Perkin, M.D., Director of the Foundation's Global Health Program. "The Global Alliance for Tuberculosis Drug Development offers hope that the global community will be successful in controlling this ever growing public health threat."
The gifts include:
- Global Alliance for Tuberculosis Drug Development - $25 Million
The newly-formed Global Alliance for TB Drug Development received a $25 million grant to support the development of new therapeutic agents and provide resources to demonstrate the drug's efficacy in clinical trials. The new Global Alliance will include foundations, pharmaceutical companies and international organizations that are working toward finding new effective treatments for tuberculosis.
- Save the Children - $50 Million
Save the Children, one of the world's largest private, nonprofit children's development and relief organizations, received a $50 million, five-year grant to help save the lives of newborn children worldwide. The grant will support a global Saving Newborn Lives initiative to increase access to low-cost technologies to substantially reduce the estimated 5.4 million annual deaths of newborns. The Foundation award represents the largest private grant to Save the Children in its 68-year history. For more information about Save the Children, visit their website.
- The Infectious Disease Research Institute - $15 Million
The Infectious Disease Research Institute received a $15 million grant to fund their ongoing effort to develop a vaccine to prevent leishmaniasis, a skin and visceral disease endemic in Southern Asia, particularly in India, Africa, South America and the Middle East. The Institute will work closely with Corixa, a biotechnology company. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), leishmaniasis causes approximately half a million deaths annually. An estimated 15 million new cases of the disease occur each year.
- Medicines for Malaria Venture - $25 Million
Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV) received a grant of $25 million, which will support the organization's goal of establishing a public-private partnership to tackle this major global disease. MMV's purpose is to promote the discovery and development of anti-malarial drugs through the investment of public sector funds for drug development. MMV hopes to register one new anti-malarial drug every five years starting in 2010. For more information about the Medicines for Malaria Venture, visit the website.
- Albert B. Sabin Vaccine Institute - $18 Million
The Sabin Vaccine Institute received a grant of $18 million to work in partnership with the Medical Helminthology Laboratory at Yale University on the development of a hookworm vaccine. The vaccine will be used alongside more traditional methods and medications to reduce hookworm infection, one of the main causes of anemia and malnutrition worldwide. For more information about The Sabin Vaccine Institute, visit the website.
The Foundation's Global Health Program focuses on three areas: Vaccine-Preventable Diseases; Reproductive and Child Health; and Conditions Associated with Poverty.