Funding to PDPs for neglected diseases research drops 20%

TDR news item
11 December 2013

The G-Finder Report covering 2012 funding for neglected disease R&D shows a slight overall increase over the previous year, but product development partnerships (PDPs) showed the biggest decline since 2009. The funding was down 20% from 2011, to US$ 87.4 million.

This reduction in funding for the PDPs is a concern even when taking into consideration the uneven disbursement of multi-year grants. The numbers reveal more entrenched underlying trends, with over half of the top funders who contribute annually either freezing or further decreasing their PDP investments in 2012.

TDR Director John Reeder says, “This trend shows that traditional funding is fragile, and there needs to be more of a concerted effort on identifying innovative funding mechanisms for health R&D.” TDR incubated and then established a number of the leading PDPs, including Medicines for Malaria Venture, the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative, and the Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics. These are organizations with the structure and partnerships to develop new products. “It is essential they continue to be supported,” Reeder added.

"This trend shows that traditional funding is fragile, and there needs to be more of a concerted effort on identifying innovative funding mechanisms for health R&D."

Dr John Reeder, TDR Director

One of the areas that the G-Finder report does not cover is implementation and operational research. “We know the innovation cycle is not just about drug discovery and development,” says John Reeder. “It’s the full spectrum from basic research all the way to saving a child’s life. TDR’s strategy is focused on implementation research, and a monitoring survey as good as the G-FINDER would be very useful for this area, given its critical nature to meet the Millennium Development Goals”.

Rob Terry, Knowledge Manager at TDR, said, “The value of the G-FINDER report is the depth of quality data it now provides and trends the analysis can reveal. This report helps us track the research gaps so that we can recommend and promote areas of need.”

For more information, please contact

Jamie Guth
TDR Communications Manager
Telephone: +41 79 441 2289
E-mail: guthj@who.int

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