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Monday, 31 October 2005 11:56
BNN: British Nursing News Online · www.bnn-online.co.uk
Bill Gates to fund British team’s malaria research
A UK research centre is to receive a £28 million donation from Microsoft billionaire Bill Gates as part of a £145 million gift to malaria research from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

The money will be used to support three international studies over the next five years. The Liverpool School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine project will look at ways to control the spread of malaria by mosquitoes, while the others will look for new malaria drugs and environmentally clean insecticides,

Mr Gates said: "Millions of children have died from malaria because they were not protected by an insecticide-treated bed net, or did not receive effective treatment," he said.

"If we expand malaria control programs, and invest what's needed in research and development, we can stop this tragedy."

Liverpool's Innovative Vector Control Consortium (IVCC) will use the money to develop safer, more effective mosquito control and improved bed nets and insecticides.

Another project, the Malaria Vaccine Initiative, is working in Mozambique to conduct trials of GlaxoSmithKline’s malaria vaccine which is said to cut the risk of severe malaria in young children by 58 per cent.

The trials will involve more than 10,000 children and test the safety of the vaccine when taken along with other childhood medicines. The MVI will receive £60.4 million for this work.

Furthermore, the Medicines for Malaria Venture will receive £56.1 million to develop new and affordable malaria drugs for use in poorer countries.

Dr Chris Hentschel from MMV said: "We're developing 20 promising compounds, and six are already in clinical trials.

"There is an urgent need for new drugs to treat malaria.

"Our goal is to develop a range of effective drugs that cost $1 or less per person treated."

A spokeswoman from The Roll Back Malaria Partnership Secretariat said the new funding from the Gates' would make a big difference.

"We absolutely have to have more funds for research. As quickly as we can develop new drugs we also have drug resistance."


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