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Europe extends clinical trial project with African researchers

Partnership has already developed eight improved medical treatments
Euorpean Union EU flag

An African-European partnership on research into some of the most serious diseases affecting the developing world has been renewed with a budget of €683m from the EU.

The European & Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP) was first set up in 2003 and focuses on phase I to IV research into diseases such as HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, and with financial commitment to a second programme in place work can now start on a new workplan for the partnership.

The first EDCTP project was backed with €200m in EU funding and chalked up some important successes, including the development of eight improved medical treatments, four African regional networks of excellence for clinical research, and the provision of training for 400 African researchers.

Moreover, while the first EDCTP provides a platform for European member states to combine their efforts on poverty-related and infectious diseases, the second programme will see nine African nations join the fight.

"Granting full membership of EDCTP to African countries opens a new chapter in the partnership," commented Professor Charles Mgone, executive director of the EDCTP.

The involvement of Cameroon, Congo, Ghana, Mozambique, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia will "enhance co-ownership of the programme and increase political and financial commitment", he added.

The 14 European countries participating are Austria, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, and the UK.

EDCTP will continue to support the clinical development of new or improved diagnostics, drugs, vaccines and microbicides for the three main infectious disease targets, with an emphasis on conducting trials in sub-Saharan Africa - but will also broaden its remit to include other neglected infectious diseases.

This first workplan will cover the initial two years of the second EDCTP programme (2014-2015), and try to align it with the work programmes for the EU's Horizon 2020 R&D initiative.

The initial goals of EDCTP2 are to have delivered at least one new medical intervention by the end of the programme, with 20 more progressing through development, as well as the publication of 30 or more guidelines for improved or extended use of existing treatments.

Article by
Phil Taylor

12th May 2014

From: Research

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