Pipeline grows for neglected diseases research and development (R&D)

TDR news item
4 February 2013

A 40% increase over 2011 of R&D projects in the diseases that mostly affect people in low- and middle-income countries has been tracked in the 2012 status report of The International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers & Associations (IFPMA). Its annual review tracks the diseases prioritised by TDR, such as malaria, onchocerciasis and dengue.

There were 132 projects, of which 85% came from product development partnerships (PDPs). Some of these PDPs were incubated at TDR to bring together a range of players, including the pharmaceutical industry, governments and key stakeholders. TDR’s cycle of research priority reports, which began in the 1980s and now are published as the World Health Organization’s only research-oriented series of Technical Reports, called the WHO Technical Report series. They provide options vetted by international experts that can be used to not only identify products that are needed, but also the research needed to understand how to scale up the products where they are most needed.

The report also cited the IFPMA’s support of TDR’s Career Development Fellowship, which consists of 12-month placements in institutions with the necessary resources to provide supervision and mentorship to the fellow through a staff member in its clinical department. The program also offers networking opportunities through an electronic alumni network, as well as annual meetings of past and current fellows. The alumni network contributes to long-term research capacity strengthening by providing a forum for discussion, improved interaction, collaboration, and tracking.

Earlier in January, the World Health Organization released Sustaining the drive to overcome the global impact of neglected tropical diseases. That report pointed to the value of increased donations by the pharmaceutical industry while calling for more support for research into fundamental and operational research. It referred to TDR’s Global Report for research on infectious diseases of poverty and its call for more equitable support for research into NTDs.

For more information, please contact:

Ms Jamie Guth
Communications Manager
Telephone: +41 22 79 11538
E-mail: guthj@who.int