Gates Foundation pledges $5.7 million to fight Ebola epidemic

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has pledged $5.7 million to support efforts in Guinea and other Ebola-affected countries to increase the production and evaluation of convalescent plasma and other blood products as possible treatments for the virus.

Multiple drug candidates will be evaluated, including the experimental antiviral drug brincidofovir.

“We are committed to working with Ebola-affected countries to rapidly identify and scale up potential lifesaving treatments for Ebola,” Dr. Papa Salif Sow, a senior program officer and infectious diseases expert with the foundation’s Global Health Program, said. “The Gates Foundation is focusing its R&D investments on treatments, diagnostics and vaccines that we believe could be quickly produced and delivered to those who need them if they demonstrate efficacy in stopping the disease.”

Ebola survivors who wish to be donors will be tested to ensure that they are Ebola-free, and the trial will also use technology to greatly reduce the risk of patients getting infected from blood components.

The foundation will work closely with the World Health Organization on this project.

Numerous corporate partners are also on board, including The Paul G. Allen Family Foundation, which donated two mobile donation units for the trial; and The Greenbaum Foundation, which also donated a mobile donation unit.

Other partners include Haemonetics Corporation, Abbott Laboratories, B. Braun Medical Inc., BD (Becton, Dickinson and Company), Blood Bank Computer Systems Inc., Cerus Corporation, Fisher Scientific, Helmer Scientific, Matthews Specialty Vehicles Inc., Precision Dynamics Corporation Healthcare, Premier Inc., Welch Allyn Inc., Blood Centers of America, Safe Blood for Africa Foundation, U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases, The Global Emerging Pathogens Therapy/Treatment, Case Western Reserve University, Johns Hopkins University, University of California, San Francisco, Biotest AG, CSL Behring, Fenwal Inc., Grifols, Terumo BCT and the United Parcel Service.

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Gates Foundation

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