Innovation Deficit: Funds for Neglected Diseases like TB are Falling Short – World

New York (January 31, 2023)— The 2022 G-FINDER report, released today, reveals that for the year 2021, global funding for the development of critical new health technologies to tackle the world’s deadliest neglected diseases ​remained woefully inadequate and largely stagnant. Notably, global investment in tuberculosis (TB) research and development (R&D) in 2021 was $723 million, far below the $2.16 billion estimate of the previous year’s total and the Stop TB Partnership, as There was an annual requirement to develop and supply the drug system. , vaccines, and diagnostics that can end the TB epidemic. TB is regaining its dubious distinction as the world’s deadliest infectious disease, infecting more than 10 million people and killing 1.6 million each year.

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The report highlights a worrying lack of global investment in Product Development Partnerships (PDPs) to research and develop medical innovations to tackle neglected diseases. PDPs are world leaders in developing new health technologies for poverty-related neglected diseases for which commercial incentives are few. The TB Alliance’s six-month treatment for drug-resistant TB is proof that PDPs can provide adequate resources when needed. Despite this track record, PDP funding declined sharply in 2021, down nearly $100M, a record low for the fifteen years that G-FINDER has tracked these figures.

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At the same time, funding for PDPs to conduct COVID-19 R&D continued to increase. It is representative of the current challenges in the dynamic global health environment. While a strong global response to COVID-19 is critical—and PDPs can play a key role in such efforts—we must not only focus on epidemics that primarily affect the poor, such as TB, which destroying communities. Families, and economies around the world. We have lost more than a decade of progress against TB, with 2021 figures showing an increase in TB incidence and mortality for the first time in many years. An increased global commitment to TB research and development (R&D), ensuring access for all, is critical to ending what is perhaps the world’s oldest epidemic.

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Recent breakthroughs in TB research demonstrate that innovation is not only possible but also cost-effective. Investment in TB requires renewed and strengthened commitments to ensure the discovery of effective new innovations that reach all those who need them. The upcoming second UNGA high-level meeting on TB provides a unique opportunity to correct course. World leaders must enable the development of the next generation of innovations that can end a devastating disease like TB.

Mel Spiegelman MD
President and CEO
TB Alliance


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