Assessing EU Funding for R&D for Poverty-related and Neglected Diseases

(Research report commissioned by the EACH Coalition)

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Substantial achievements were made in the last decade in research and development (R&D) of health technologies for poverty-related and neglected diseases (PRNDs). However, there is still a significant lack of medical tools to tackle these diseases, including HIV/ AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis, and lesser-known infectious diseases, which together kill an estimated 6.5 million people in low- and middle-income countries annually, and affect more than 1 billion people globally. Many PRNDs pose a threat to Europe, but the world’s poorest populations are disproportionately affected. To achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)—particularly SDG 3: “Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages”—it is of paramount importance that we reduce this disease burden. This will require the development of new drugs, vaccines, diagnostics, vector control products, and other health technologies, and public-sector support is needed for their development. This report assesses which of the relevant European Union (EU) funding mechanisms are best suited to successfully support R&D for new health technologies for PRNDs. Whilst the report’s main aim is to assess the suitability of EU funding mechanisms for advancing PRND R&D and to suggest what needs to be improved, it also reviews the EU’s support for new tools to counter antimicrobial resistance, which has become a growing threat in recent years, and which faces some of the same challenges to innovation as PRND R&D.

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