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The United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID) has selected PATH as a partner in pioneering work to prevent, diagnose, and treat malaria and diarrhea in low-resource settings. PATH will lead an innovative product development partnership to more quickly reach children and adults with new lifesaving technologies for both diseases.

Diarrhea and malaria are two of the leading causes of illness and death in low-resource settings, killing nearly 1.5 million people—mostly children—each year. People in poor areas are disproportionately affected by these diseases, and more solutions are needed that will meet their specific needs.

The new partnership builds on a promising portfolio of vaccines, drugs, diagnostics, and other projects that PATH already leads to tackle both diseases. The partnership will enable a more coordinated effort to accelerate the development of new and existing approaches and take these technologies to scale. PATH will address key gaps and bottlenecks that affect the supply of important health tools, the availability of affordable vaccines, and the development of new drugs and diagnostics.

Nine partnerships funded

PATH’s effort is one of nine product development partnerships that will be funded over the next five years through a £138 million total investment from DFID. Together, these include the following:

  • PATH: new drugs, vaccines, and diagnostics to prevent, diagnose, and treat malaria and diarrheal disease.
  • Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi): new drugs for sleeping sickness, skin sores, river blindness, and other lymphatic diseases spread by parasites and mosquitoes.
  • Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV): new drugs for malaria, with a focus on treating malaria in pregnancy and the relapsing form of malaria.
  • Innovative Vector Control Consortium (IVCC): new insecticides to control insects that carry malaria and some of the neglected tropical diseases.
  • Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND): new diagnostic tests for tuberculosis (TB), malaria, and sleeping sickness.
  • TB Alliance: new drugs for people with TB and for those also infected with HIV.
  • Aeras: development of new vaccines to prevent TB infection.
  • International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI): support for the development of new AIDS vaccines.
  • International Partnership for Microbicides (IPM): support for the development of women-controlled HIV prevention technologies.

These partnerships will enable the public and private sectors to share expertise, costs, and risks while advancing lifesaving solutions.

PATH’s approach

PATH has nearly 40 years of developing and managing product development partnerships to advance global health solutions. Under the new DFID projects, we will tap into our expertise across the full product development value chain—from investigating new ideas to scaling up products—to bring more high-quality solutions to the communities that need them.

Specifically our work will address:

  • The gap between the availability of radical treatment for the malaria parasite Plasmodium vivax and the diagnostic tools available to safely administer malaria treatment.
  • The market gap in affordable vaccines for rotavirus, the leading cause of severe diarrheal disease, and the availability of a single-dose liquid rotavirus vaccine, as well as the lack of available vaccine formulations for Shigella and enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC), two other important causes of severe diarrhea.
  • The limited supply and development pipeline for drugs to treat diarrhea in children, diagnostic tools to differentiate among the pathogens that cause diarrhea, and new and alternative oral rehydration products to treat diarrhea.

Our partnership will leverage the strengths of numerous partners, such as governments, academic institutions, commercial manufacturers, research groups, and nonprofit organizations, to tackle complex social and technological challenges that slow development.

Our model examines products in the early stages of development and identifies those that are most likely to succeed, thereby lowering risk for pharmaceutical companies, vaccine manufacturers, and other commercial developers. PATH often partners with developers to carry these products forward through late-stage development.

This approach encourages companies to bring new products to market that can be affordable, sustainable, and lifesaving for millions of children.

More information

Posted August 27, 2013.