New R&D models in neglected diseases under review

TDR offers experience and governance

TDR news item
9 May 2014

This week new proposals were set out by TDR on how it could use its experience and existing governance structures to contribute to the current initiatives aimed at demonstrating new and innovative methods for supporting research and development in the neglected tropical diseases.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has been hosting stakeholder meetings on how to implement projects that explore new funding mechanisms and ways of improving coordination in research. The goal is to produce high quality interventions that are affordable by delinking the costs of R&D from the final price.

The projects under discussion include: a global R&D and access Initiative for visceral leishmaniasis by Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi); an international open source collaboration to accelerate drug development in addressing diseases of poverty by the Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV); and the development of easy-to-use and affordable biomarkers as diagnostics for the group of neglected tropical diseases by the African Network for Drugs and Diagnostics Innovation (ANDI).

TDR has suggested the creation of a new pooled funding mechanism that could operate under the World Health Assembly. The Programme can utilize its technical expertise and extensive R&D networks to coordinate implementation of these project going forward. In the future, TDR can bring its experience to bear on the issue of designing calls for proposals that are in line with the most pressing needs.

Overall governance of such a scheme would be through the Joint Coordinating Board of TDR. This body, whose members are nominated by Member States themselves, ensures an equitable balance across the world’s regions and gives a strong voice to the diseases endemic countries in setting future priorities.

The 67th World Health Assembly will consider a report of this meeting and discuss potential next steps.

For more information, contact:

Robert Terry (terryr@who.int)

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