WASHINGTON, D.C. (Wednesday, June 15, 2011) - High-level members of the Obama Administration will gather with leaders from the biopharmaceutical and global health communities at the Partnering for Global Health Forum on June 27 to discuss ways to speed the development of new medical tools — drugs, vaccines and diagnostics — to address the most persistent challenges in global health.
Dr. Francis Collins, Director of the National Institutes of Health, will deliver a keynote address on how ground-breaking innovations in biotechnology can save lives in the world’s poorest countries. Leading panelists from around the world will also offer insights on how life-saving products are transformed from ideas in the world’s laboratories to new drugs, vaccines and diagnostics for patients in developing countries. Speakers include Dr. Rajiv Shah, Administrator of USAID, Dr. Regina Rabinovich, Director of the Infectious Diseases Program at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Dr. Hassan Mshinda, Director General of the Tanzanian Commission for Science and Technology.
“While biomedical innovation has led to new diagnostics and treatments that have saved millions of lives, the challenges of global health continue to grow,” says Dr. Collins. “To overcome these challenges, the global health community could benefit from strengthening partnerships with the biotechnology industry to transform health care in the world’s poorest countries and in our own back yards.”
The U.S. is a world leader on biotechnology and product development for neglected diseases. Based on BIO Ventures for Global Health analysis, the U.S. is home to approximately 40 percent of companies participating in neglected disease drug and vaccine development. In a 2010 publication in Nature Reviews: Drug Discovery, analysis of drugs approved by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration between 1998 and 2007 found that 33 percent of all drugs — and 48 percent of scientifically novel drugs — were of biotech or academic/biotech technology transfer origin. Recognizing the importance of engaging these companies in global health research and development, the Obama Administration has promoted investments in innovation for global development in its 2012 budget and its USAID strategy. This kind of thinking could have tremendous impact on the development of critical new tools to improve the health of people in developing countries.
“We believe the Obama administration’s new approach to innovation can help drive biotech engagement in global health research and development,” says Dr. Melinda Moree, CEO of BIO Ventures for Global Health. “The Partnering for Global Health Forum provides an opportunity for governments, biotech companies and the global health community to figure out how to make this a reality, including new incentives and prizes that can drive innovation and help meet the health needs of the world’s poor.
Co-located with the BIO International Convention, the Partnering for Global Health Forum is jointly organized by BIO Ventures for Global Health and the Biotechnology Industry Organization. The Forum will be held at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C. on 27 June 2011.
About BIO Ventures for Global Health
BIO Ventures for Global Health (BVGH) is a non-profit organization whose mission is to save lives by accelerating the development of novel drugs, vaccines, and diagnostics coming from biotechnology industry that address the unmet medical needs of the developing world.