New generation of lifesaving medicines and vaccines for the world’s poor now at risk

Fourth annual G-FINDER survey report is released

08 Dec 2011

A fresh round of funding cuts from rich nations in the wake of the global financial crisis threaten the development of a new generation of lifesaving medicines and vaccines just as they are on the verge of reaching patients in the developing world. Public funding from the world’s richest nations for research and development (R&D) of new neglected disease products fell by US$125m (down 6%) in 2010, according to new data published in the fourth annual G-FINDER report. Diseases like HIV that rely heavily on public funding have been hit the hardest, with a US$70m cut in HIV R&D funding alone.

“In the past, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation provided over 20% of global investment into new neglected disease products, but those days have gone”, said report author Dr Mary Moran, Director of Policy Cures. “It’s time for governments to step up to the plate, otherwise we risk losing a decade of investment that is on the verge of delivering badly needed new medicines and vaccines for the developing world”.

The brunt of the funding cuts has been borne by Product Development Partnerships, who account for some of the most advanced products in development but have seen their funding cut by nearly $100 million in the past two years even as these products are approaching completion.

The G-FINDER survey, now in its fourth year, is the most comprehensive report to date on funding of R&D for neglected diseases like malaria, TB, HIV, pneumonia, sleeping sickness and helminth (worm) infections. It covers 31 diseases and 134 product areas for these diseases, including drugs, vaccines, diagnostics, microbicides and vector control products. In 2010, 240 organisations completed the survey, including all major public, private and philanthropic funders. This year, the report expanded to include funding from public agencies in Argentina, Chile, Malaysia, Mexico, Nigeria and Uganda. The G-FINDER survey is conducted by the independent research group Policy Cures and funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Read the full report on the Policy Cures website.