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New partnership between EC and Gates Foundation to fight poverty-related diseases

The European Commission (EC) and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation have announced to work together to fight HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and other poverty-related diseases that together affect more than 1 billion people worldwide. The agreement, which was signed in Paris, creates a new strategic partnership for research in the area. Between 2007 and 2011, the foundation and the EC have contributed around € 2.4 billion to research and development focused on poverty-related infectious diseases, supporting the development of more than 20 new and improved products.

The partnership will invest in research and development of life-saving interventions to improve the health and well-being of people living in developing countries. In addition to accelerating the development of much-needed drugs, vaccines and diagnostics, the two organisations will also seek to improve affordable and sustainable pathways to ensure that these products quickly reach those in greatest need. The foundation and the EC want to launch a joint innovation prize at the 2014 Innovation Convention, to recognise and reward innovations that address challenges in current approaches to global health.

The EC and the foundation will also jointly fund clinical development of new tools to treat and prevent HIV, tuberculosis, malaria and other neglected infectious diseases such as diarrhoeal diseases, Buruli ulcer, trachoma, lymphatic filariasis and sleeping sickness. Much of this work will be carried out through the European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP), a flagship initiative of the European Union, with currently 16 European and 30 sub-Saharan African partner countries involved.

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