Top News in R&D





 Global Health Technologies Coalition 


R&D News Roundup: March 13, 2023


Top News in R&D

Pan-African platform aims to hasten clinical trials
Devex (3/7), features Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative

PANTHER, a newly launched pan-African platform for emergency research and preparedness, aims to address the lack of clinical trials carried out on the continent, despite it facing a disproportionate amount of the global disease burden. The researchers behind the initiative see the platform as a way to ensure essential data is captured in clinical trials during active outbreaks of existing or newly emerging diseases, especially following the recent Marburg and Sudan ebolavirus outbreaks. PANTHER hopes to prepare around 80 percent of the groundwork for trials before an outbreak by targeting at-risk spots, creating a network of researchers and health care providers, and proactively engaging funders so that when an outbreak is identified, this foundation can be quickly leveraged to adapt trials to local contexts and specific disease characteristics.

Breakthrough for tuberculosis—one of the world’s biggest killers—as new vaccine shows promise in early trials
Forbes (3/6), features the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Additional coverage from NPR (3/6)

Last week, researchers announced promising results from a phase 1 clinical trial, supported by the US National Institutes of Health, looking at a temperature-stable tuberculosis (TB) vaccine that can be freeze-dried and safely stored at higher temperatures for months. The shot, given to 45 healthy adults in the study, was found safe, well-tolerated, and elicited measurable responses in the body. If further testing of the vaccine proves successful, the shot could be a clear alternative to the bacille Calmette-Guerin vaccine—the only licensed vaccine for TB, which is more sensitive and cannot be frozen— and break down barriers to vaccine distribution in low-income and low-resource settings around the world.

Close viral relative to Covid detected in humans in southeast Asia
The Telegraph (3/6)

A new paper found that more than 10 percent of people in rural Myanmar have been exposed to a diverse range of sarbecoviruses, a group of coronaviruses that includes Sars and Sars-Cov-2. Researchers also emphasized that the paper confirmed the risk of direct spillover from bats, especially in remote, rural areas. While there were no signs of human-to-human transmission of these viruses, the findings highlight the ongoing occurrence of spillovers and the need for surveillance of both disease outbreaks and rural areas with high wildlife-human interface, as well as ensuring strong biosecurity laboratory measures are in place.



News from GHTC

New global AMR collaboration signed with GARDP
University of Liverpool news release (3/9), features GARDP

South Africa's lax patent laws threaten mRNA hub sustainability
Devex (3/9), features Public Citizen

African Union is making ‘good progress’ in setting up its medicines agency
Health Policy Watch (3/8), features Johnson & Johnson



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