Uniting partners for malaria drug research and development
At the second annual meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV), on behalf of its partners, made a commitment of $50 million over five years to establish a cutting-edge Center for Malaria Research, Development, Distribution and Education within the Abu Dhabi Bio City project to be established in the United Arab Emirates.
The new Malaria Research Center, to be constructed as a part of Abu Dhabi Bio City, is a tri-partite attempt to unite the expertise and capabilities of MMV in malaria drug research and development together with the regional presence and national interest of Abu Dhabi and the United Arab Emirates together with the emerging biomedical presence of the new Abu Dhabi Bio City cluster. The partners in the project include MMV, Global Medical Forum Foundation, the Higher Colleges of Technologies and Centre of Excellence for Research and Training of the United Arab Emirates.
The Center, projected to be completed in 2009, seeks to make a significant impact on the discovery and development of novel antimalarial drugs, and their subsequent distribution and effective use in malaria endemic areas. Ideally positioned in terms of regional accessibility, financial support and human resources, the Center’s goals are:
- Drug Discovery - To establish a research facility in the development of a sustainable pipeline capable of submitting completely novel compounds for clinical development and to manufacture such compounds for clinical investigation and therapeutic usage.
- Drug Distribution - To establish the Center as the distribution hub for malaria medicines and preventive treatments to countries in which malaria is endemic and in which the UAE holds strong influence.
- Professional Medical Education - To establish an educational and training facility within the Center where medical and paramedical staff from the surrounding region can receive training in malaria prevention and treatment.
- Positive Policy Change - To establish a center within the Center where policymakers and other leaders from the region can be schooled in the importance of malaria R&D, treatment and prevention.
“On behalf of our partners in this project, MMV is delighted to announce this groundbreaking project at the Clinton Global Initiative,” said Dr. Chris Hentschel, President and CEO of MMV. “This is our collective commitment to the world community that we are united in our fight against malaria. Without continuous search for new and better interventions, we will not be able to win this battle against this persistent scourge.”
Approximately 40 percent of the world’s population - mostly those living in the poorest countries - are at risk of malaria. There are an estimated 300 - 600 million new clinical cases of malaria annually, directly causing over one million deaths. Malaria kills one child every 30 seconds, and many children who survive an episode of cerebral malaria suffer from learning impairments or brain damage. Beyond the human toll, malaria has a significant economic impact in endemic countries - costing Africa US$12 billion in lost GDP every year and consuming 40 percent of all public health spending.
About Abu Dhabi Bio City
Abu Dhabi Bio City (ADBC) is a new mixed-use, US$180 million biomedical cluster that is being developed in Abu Dhabi by a consortium consisting of the Global Medical Forum Foundation (GMF) of Zurich, Switzerland, the Higher Colleges of Technology (HCT) of Abu Dhabi, Bio City Development Corporation (BCDco) of Hong Kong, Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank of Abu Dhabi, and Macquarie Bank of Australia. ADBC therefore represents a commitment of the government of Abu Dhabi to create a center of excellence for research and development in the life sciences in the Middle East containing major R&D facilities for pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical technology companies
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