Vaccines against HIV, malaria and TB unlikely, study says

Unless a great deal more money is invested in developing vaccines against HIV, malaria, tuberculosis, hepatitis C, and a number of other infectious diseases, researchers say such products are unlikely to reach fruition.

Unless a great deal more money is invested in developing vaccines against HIV, malaria, tuberculosis, hepatitis C, and a number of other infectious diseases, researchers say such products are unlikely to reach fruition. The study, funded by the Gates Foundation and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, estimates that global research spending must triple from about $3 billion a year currently to $9 billion annually in order to make an impact against infectious diseases that overwhelmingly affect poor populations. Instead, the investigators report, spending has mostly fallen since the 2009 economic slump. However, the results are not all gloom and doom, with investigators calculating that as many as 125 new products are likely to be approved in the next 12 years. The research declined to gauge the medical value or likelihood of success for each intervention—it only pinpointed where each was in the development pipeline and how much it typically cost for comparable interventions to go live. Experts who weighed in emphasized, however, that even vaccines achieving only partial protection could prove life-saving. The study appears on the open access website Gates Open Research.