Ebola research overshadows other development efforts, report indicates

Ebola research overshadows other development efforts, report indicates. | Courtesy of Shutterstock
A recent report from G-Finder indicates that research and development of Ebola countermeasures has potentially overshadowed other drug developments.

According to the report, in 2014, approximately $3.4 billion was invested into research and development for neglected diseases in 2014. The beginning of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa spurred an approximated $150 million increase in this funding in 2014.

"This represents significant new investment in Ebola R&D, which was mobilized very quickly," Nick Chapman, report co-author, said. "The challenge will be to make sure that this attention and funding is maintained as the epidemic subsides, to ensure that these products complete development."

Conversely, when Ebola research is excluded from the report, G-Finder indicates that public funding for neglected diseases fell to the lowest point it has been at in seven years -- in 2014, non-Ebola related funding dropped by approximately $62 million. Chapman stated that neglected diseases are likely to cause more fatalities in developing countries than the virus.

This report focused on research and development funding into neglected diseases that include: malaria, HIV, sleeping sickness and tuberculosis.

"The significant new industry investment in R&D for Ebola, malaria and HIV/AIDS shows that industry can contribute significant financial resources -- as well as product development expertise -- in the right conditions," Chapman said. "But the challenge is ensuring that this investment happens. The ongoing cuts in industry investment in TB remain a concern, given increasing rates of drug resistance."

Organizations in this story

PATH: Global Health Technologies Coalition 2201 Westlake Ave Seattle, WA 98121

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