In order to speed up research and development (R&D) for communicable diseases that disproportionately hurt lower-income nations, GSK plc announced a commitment of £1 billion over 10 years.
This research will focus on novel and ground-breaking vaccines and medications to diagnose and control neglected tropical diseases (NTDs), HIV (through ViiV Healthcare), tuberculosis, malaria, and anti-microbial resistance (AMR), which continue to have a severe effect on the most susceptible and account for more than 60% of the disease burden in many low-income countries.
Speaking at the Rwandan Kigali Summit on Malaria and NTDs was Thomas Breuer, Chief Global Health Officer of GSK, who said, in keeping with their intention to combine their science, innovation, and skills to get ahead of disease and their ambition to deliver health implications at scale, he is thrilled to renew their commitment to international health research for the upcoming ten years. They have developed the first tuberculosis vaccine candidate, the first radical treatment for vivax malaria, and the first malaria vaccine through their emphasis on scientific advancement in global health. GSK now possesses more than 30 possible novel vaccines and medications (including pre-clinical assets) in 13 infectious diseases with high loads; they must act urgently as a team to get these potentially life-saving breakthroughs to those who need them, he added.
Malawi’s Minister of Health, Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda, stated that infectious disease burden reduction has advanced significantly, and Malawi has been free of lymphatic filariasis. However, some illnesses have survived because there are no vaccinations or medications to prevent or treat them, or because those that do exist are no longer as effective due to rising resistance. The announcement by GSK is a crucial step toward eliminating communicable diseases as an obstacle to a healthy and more equitable world and underlines GSK’s ambition to close the innovation divide.
The £1 billion allocated for global health R & D will help GSK in its efforts to-
- Deliver next-generation vaccines and drugs for tuberculosis and malaria, providing patients with quicker, easier, and safer treatment alternatives, including R & D on lengthy injectables to prevent P. falciparum malaria.
- Work collaboratively through ViiV Healthcare to create and provide access to cutting-edge HIV treatment and preventive alternatives for those living with the disease.
- By developing their industry-leading vaccine pipeline, which includes first-in-class vaccinations targeting invasive non-typhoidal salmonellosis and shigellosis, they can decrease antibiotic resistance.
- Encourage multi-sectoral alliances and collaborations to spur outside investment for research and development on high-burden infectious illnesses.
In order to meet these goals, GSK established a specialised, nonprofit Global Health Unit, whose success is only determined by the impact on health. The concept is intended to give priority to the prevention and control of chronic diseases in low-income nations where the company’s science can have a significant positive influence on the health of millions of people living in disease zones with little chance of a monetary return on investment.
In order to speed up the research and development of new vaccines and treatments, the function includes specialised Global Health innovation hubs for pharmaceuticals and vaccines. These centres work with top-tier partners. Upwards of 30 potential vaccinations and medications for 13 infectious illnesses with substantial burdens are available in these centres.
At the Kigali summit, GSK also disclosed further sizeable global health commitments in addition to the £1 billion for R&D. The company restated its dedication to providing albendazole, the biggest medication contribution ever made, up until lymphatic filariasis and soil-transmitted helminthiasis morbidity are completely eradicated as global public health issues. In order to help satisfy anticipated demand for the vaccine in the medium term, GSK also announced that it is tripling the manufacturing of its AS01 adjunct for use in the RTS, S malaria vaccine.
This initiative will build on GSK’s extensive commitment to it and investment in international health innovation over the coming ten years. The Bill and Melinda Gates Medical Research Institute is currently leading the development of a promising tuberculosis vaccine candidate for low-income countries with high tuberculosis burdens. To date, this has produced significant new interventions, such as RTS, S, the very first malaria vaccine and the first-ever human jab against a parasite; tafenoquine, the first radical cure for vivax malaria, and other drugs.
The goal of GSK is to improve the quality of life of more than 2.5 billion people in the course of the next ten years, which includes making these commitments in global health.