Gates Foundation Pledges $5.4M To Encourage Drug Development for Infectious Diseases
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation on Tuesday announced a pledge of $5.4 million to the not-for-profit organization BIO Ventures for Global Health to encourage biotechnology companies to develop drugs for infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, the AP/Yahoo! News reports (Elias, AP/Yahoo! News, 6/21). BVGH -- launched last year with funding from the Gates Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation -- will use the four-year grant to create a series of business cases to help biotechnology companies evaluate potential market demand, as well as testing, licensing and distribution pathways (BVGH release, 6/21). BVGH initially will conduct research into potential markets for a TB vaccine (Schmit, USA Today, 6/22). "The biotech industry has tremendous potential for developing new therapeutics, vaccines and diagnostics against diseases of the developing world," Richard Klausner, executive director of the Gates Foundation's Global Health program, said, adding, "For too long, funding, market and information barriers have prevented biotech companies from realizing this potential" (AP/Yahoo! News, 6/21).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.