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Archive for February 1st, 2010

Feb 01 2010

Drug company wants to research neglected infections but “doesn’t have a cent”

Posted by: Paul Chinnock - Editorial Team

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A report in Business News says that drug giant Novartis has had no success in trying to raise funds from the public and philanthropic sectors to to finance development of drugs against neglected illnesses including dracunculiasis (guinea-worm disease), malaria and tuberculosis.

Novartis wants to raise about $1 billion annually for 10 years to create a fund that companies and institutions could draw on to develop treatments for diseases that get little drug-development interest because they wouldn’t be profitable. The US and European governments, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Wellcome Trust have all apparently been approached without success.

Paul Herrling, head of Novartis corporate research says, “It’s two years I’ve been working on this thing, and I don’t have a cent”.

Feb 01 2010

Can yellow fever vaccine be modified to protect against malaria and dengue?

Posted by: Paul Chinnock - Editorial Team

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An intriguing report from Ecuador says that scientists have been given government backing to attempt to transform a vaccine used to protect against yellow fever so that it becomes active against malaria and dengue.

Researchers from the University of Guayaquil will apparently use the transformed vaccine in a study based in a military hospital - see report from SperoNews.