Gates Foundation Invests in Cutting-Edge Research to Diagnose Tuberculosis in Developing Countries


                                                          press release

This new grant program, Biomarkers for the Diagnosis of Tuberculosis, supports innovative research into TB biomarkers to facilitate the development of a low-cost, simple-to-use tool that can quickly and accurately diagnose TB in developing countries.

The biomarkers program is part of the Gates Foundation's Grand Challenges in Global Health (GCGH) initiative, which seeks to overcome persistent bottlenecks in creating new tools that can radically improve health in the developing world. The Gates Foundation is partnering on this program with the Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND), which will help monitor the grant portfolio and supply clinical TB samples from developing countries, and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), which is co-funding one of the grants.

While in the U.S. and Europe TB is often thought of as a disease of the past, 8.8 million people are newly ill with the disease every year-many of them in the world's poorest countries. Diagnosis of TB currently relies upon laboratory-based technology, which fails to diagnose a significant portion of active TB cases or requires weeks to do so and misses patients without access to these facilities. This TB biomarker program is part of a broader effort to catalyze innovation in TB control, including the development of new TB drug regimens and vaccines.

"There is an urgent need to break through barriers in biomarker research in order to develop a highly-sensitive point-of-care diagnostic to improve identification of active TB cases," said Chris Wilson, Director of Global Health Discovery at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. "We hope these innovative ideas lead to effective and affordable TB diagnostics that can make an impact on one of the world's deadliest infectious diseases."

Source :      2012/3/8

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