SUNDAY, JUNE 17, 2018

New foundation to advance the development of vaccine research

A group of 14 leading scientists and advocacy experts recently announced the formation of a new foundation aimed at advancing the development of vaccine research against a variety of infectious diseases.

The Foundation for Vaccine Research, which will be located in Washington, D.C., hopes to raise global awareness of the need for increased long-term funding for research into vaccines against HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, neglected tropical diseases and influenza.

The foundation intends to accomplish its mission by influencing policymakers, both inside and outside of government institutions, to increase funding for vaccine research.

"Vaccines are most needed for infectious diseases that are ravaging developing countries, where financial incentives for vaccine companies practically do not exist," founding board director Prof. Mauro Schechter of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro said. "I hope that the creation of the Foundation will galvanize efforts to create innovative financing mechanisms and other incentives that will expedite vaccine research and development, particularly for HIV, TB, and malaria, in developing and developed countries."

All of the public proceeds from the foundation’s planned television fundraising events and benefit concerts will go directly to teams of scientists and their institutions. The foundation intends to develop and incorporate an internet fundraising operation, called the “It’s Time Campaign,” into its major fundraising arm.

"It's an exciting time to advance vaccine research and development to prevent humankind's most wretched diseases," founding board director Prof. Robin Weiss of University College London said. "However, scientists must have the resources. We need leadership and further political commitment worldwide. I am pleased that finally someone will be advocating and campaigning for increased funding for vaccine research."