Breakthroughs Blog

Breakthroughs brings you stories of bright ideas and bold innovations in global health.

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Ansley Kahn
Research Roundup: WHO Foundation, Algeria and Argentina declared malaria free, and scientists break away from 'cold chain' to deliver vaccines

In this regular feature on Breakthroughs, we highlight some of the most interesting reads in global health research from the past week.

Recent

Research Roundup: cash prizes for R&D, genetically modified mosquitoes, and drones for rapid diagnosis

US Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) released a plan last week as part of his Democratic presidential bid to incentivize research and development (R&D) for new HIV/AIDS medicines while ensuring they remain affordable.

GHTC
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Research Roundup: antibiotic resistance in preemies, a low-cost TB test, and more

A new study out of the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri, revealed a proliferation of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in the gastrointestinal tracts of premature infants.

GHTC
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Innovative health tools put the power of protection in women’s hands

This International Women’s Day, GHTC is celebrating two novel, female-initiated health technologies that have the potential to give women and girls greater control over their sexual and reproductive health, empowering them to make informed decisions about whether and when to have children and to protect themselves and their families from HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

GHTC
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Better together? Five takeaways on the proposal for a WHO pooled fund

Last week, GHTC convened a panel of experts to dissect and discuss a proposal for pooled funding for global health research and development (R&D).

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Research Roundup: A novel single-pill HIV treatment, a promising Ebola therapy, and a collaboration between Google and UNICEF to map Zika

Gilead Sciences, a California-based biopharmaceutical company, has received US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for Odefsey®, a complete, single-pill regimen for HIV/AIDS.

GHTC
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Research Roundup: A vaginal ring to prevent HIV, antibodies against Ebola, and the US response to malaria

GHTC member the International Partnership for Microbicides (IPM) announced last week the results of two phase 3 clinical trials demonstrating that a monthly vaginal ring filled with the antiretroviral drug dapivirine can reduce the risk of HIV infection in women.

GHTC
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Research Roundup: Vaccines for Rift Valley Fever, MERS, and Zika

A vaccine candidate against Rift Valley Fever appears to be safe and effective for livestock and has the potential for use in humans.

GHTC
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A vaccine is essential to conclusively end HIV/AIDS: New modeling data catalyzes conversations around the end of HIV/AIDS and a vaccine’s role in getting there

In this guest post Tom Harmon, senior policy analyst at the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI), highlights a new analysis exploring the critical role of a vaccine in ending AIDS.

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Research Roundup: Thermal blankets for preemies, remote critical care, and mechanisms to accelerate Zika R&D

Many of the 15 million babies born premature each year struggle with hypothermia and need help to stay warm.

GHTC
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WHO says “no thanks” to the private sector

There’s an old adage about political negotiating: “You need to be in the room when things are happening if you want to have an impact.”

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Ebola funding boost hides ongoing decline in neglected disease R&D

In this guest post, Anna Doubell, an analyst at Policy Cures, writes about the findings of this year’s G-FINDER report on neglected disease research and development (R&D). Supporting data from the report was released this week and is now available online through the G-FINDER public search tool.

Policy Cures
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CDC/Dr. Scott Smith
Global health R&D in the President’s FY17 budget request

On Monday, President Obama released his proposed budget for fiscal year 2017 (FY17).

GHTC
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Research Roundup: Drones to bolster supply chains, a mobile vaccine manufacturing kit, expanding access to new insecticides, and Zika vaccines

To bypass unreliable roads, a project funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the United Nations Population Fund is using drones to deliver contraceptives, condoms, and other health supplies to remote villages in sub-Saharan Africa.

GHTC
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WHO Board addresses health R&D, sets March meeting to discuss CEWG resolution

Over 1,000 attendees, a longer than ever agenda—with time management by a song for punishment and a chocolate Caramello Koala as a reward—the 138th World Health Organization (WHO) Executive Board (EB), chaired with humor and efficiency by Precious Matsoso, Director-General of the Department of Health, South Africa, concluded Saturday, January 30 after six days of discussion and debate.

GHTC
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New affordable oral cholera vaccine receives WHO prequalification

In January, GHTC member International Vaccine Institute (IVI) announced that a new oral cholera vaccine it developed in partnership with Korean biotech company EuBiologics, Co. Ltd.—Euvichol®—received prequalification from the World Health Organization (WHO), paving the way for the vaccine to be purchased by global procurement bodies like Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance and UNICEF.

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Research Roundup: Zika edition

The US National Institutes of Health (NIH) is ramping up research for a vaccine against Zika, a mosquito-borne virus which is “spreading explosively” throughout the Americas and can cause birth defects, including microcephaly, which is associated with stunted head and brain development in newborns.

GHTC
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Setting the stage: UN High-Level Panel on Access to Medicines to consider IP, trade, human rights, and access to medicine

In November 2015, United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon convened a High-Level Panel on Access to Medicines to discuss and develop solutions to promote innovation and access to essential medicines, vaccines, diagnostics, and other health technologies needed to ensure health and well-being around the world.

GHTC
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Major R&D gaps exist for eight pathogens most likely to cause next epidemic

Last month, the World Health Organization (WHO) convened experts to determine which emerging diseases could become “the next Ebola”—those pathogens most likely to cause the next major epidemic.

GHTC
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Research Roundup: an Ebola vaccine, stillbirths, and antimicrobial R&D

Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, signed an advanced purchase commitment, pledging to spend US$5 million on an Ebola vaccine currently under development by pharmaceutical company Merck & Co.

GHTC
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WHO’s Doing What?

With the New Year underway, GHTC is looking forward to a busy spring of multilateral organization meetings—with a number of them impacting global health research and development (R&D). First on the agenda is the World Health Organization (WHO) Executive Board (EB) meeting on January 25–30 in Geneva, where the EB will receive updates on a number of topics and make important decisions, particularly around how to proceed with the next steps of the Consultative Expert Working Group on Research and Development: Financing and Coordination (CEWG) process.

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