Sydney, Australia, 20 August 2020—Looking at R&D funding trends and new tools to fight the mosquito-borne disease malaria on World Mosquito Day (20 August), Policy Cures Research launched its first report in a series of G-FINDER Snapshots exploring the R&D landscapes of different neglected diseases and showcasing some of the innovative new technologies developed to tackle them.
“Our annual G-FINDER reports track R&D funding for dozens of neglected diseases, including malaria, which impacts the lives and well-being of millions of people in low- and middle-income countries.” said Dr Nick Chapman, CEO of Policy Cures Research. “With more than a decade of global funding data in our G-FINDER reports, these Snapshots shine a light on specific areas of the global health R&D investment landscape, and highlight some of the potentially game changing new tools that this funding has helped deliver.”
New tools to fight world’s deadliest animal
The first 2020 G-FINDER Snapshot, Next Generation Chemical Vector Control: Essential Tools in the Battle Against Malaria, provides a trend analysis of chemical vector control product (VCP) R&D funding from 2007-2018, a deep dive into a new dual insecticide-treated net, and an outlook of the chemical VCP development pipeline.
Spreading diseases like malaria, dengue, yellow fever and Zika, the mosquito is often called the world’s deadliest animal. The R&D of tools to prevent malaria transmission have been vital in the last 20 years to reduce the global burden of malaria. Malaria control interventions prevented some 693 million cases between 2001-2015 in Africa with insecticide-treated nets (ITNs) preventing over two-thirds.
However, malaria continues to threaten the world’s poorest, most vulnerable people. In 2018, an estimated 228 million malaria cases occurred, causing 405,000 deaths, mostly in Africa.
Global funding for malaria chemical VCP R&D totalled US$304 million between 2007 and 2018, averaging $25m annually. Two-thirds of all funding between 2007 and 2018 went to product development partnerships, followed by 13% to industry and 11% to academic and other research institutions. The philanthropic sector dominated chemical VCP funding, especially the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which contributed two-thirds of all global funding for this area between 2007-2018.
Growing mosquito resistance to insecticides represents the biggest threat to progress against malaria and demonstrates a clear need for new tools.
“We can’t wait for insecticide-resistant mosquitoes to undercut the efficacy of current, pyrethroid-only ITNs before introducing new vector control tools. Otherwise, we risk losing hard-fought gains in malaria control and elimination,” said Andrew Tuttle, Director of Research for Policy Cures Research. “There are novel, promising products in the VCP pipeline, which will need continual support from funders to establish efficacy and join the arsenal of tools available for malaria vector control programming.”
The G-FINDER Snapshot highlights one of the fruits of the last decade-plus of global funding for malaria VCP R&D: a new long-lasting, insecticide-treated bed net called the Interceptor G2 that became the first WHO-recommended product based on a new insecticide class in more than 30 years. Currently in pilot implementation trials, the Interceptor G2 is one of at least 10 new products in the pipeline geared towards fighting insecticide resistance.
Policy Cures Research will continue to track the funding trends in malaria R&D and work with partners to update its understanding of current and anticipated investment gaps.
Upcoming G-FINDER Snapshots
Through its new G-FINDER Snapshot series, Policy Cures Research plans to provide a deeper look at the R&D landscapes of other neglected diseases, including tuberculosis, bacterial pneumonia, typhoid, and others in the coming months.
About World Mosquito Day
World Mosquito Day is a global commemoration of Sir Ronald Ross’ discovery in 1897 that female Anopheles mosquitoes transmit malaria between humans.
Policy Cures Research’s flagship G-FINDER project tracks annual investment into R&D for new products and technologies designed to address persistent global health challenges disproportionately affecting people in low- and middle-income countries.
About Policy Cures Research
Policy Cures Research is a global health think tank with a long and pioneering history in global health R&D data collection and analysis, securing our position as a trusted source of quality evidence within the sector.
Mr. Wynne Boelt
Strategic Communications Advisor
Policy Cures Research
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