Brussels, 22 March 2002
The first phase of a new programme to boost the clinical development of drugs to tackle AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis will be launched at a conference in Barcelona, Spain, on 19 and 20 April.
The event, co-organised by the European Commission and the Spanish Presidency of the EU, will launch the preparatory phase for the creation of a clinical trials programme tailored to the needs of developing countries. It aims to explore how a partnership between Africa and the EU can accelerate the development of new drugs and vaccines to tackle the three main poverty-related diseases, which kill over five million people each year.
The European Commission has proposed dedicating 200 million euro to the European-Developing Countries Clinical Trials Programme (EDCTP) in the next Framework programme for research, FP6. The EDCTP initiative would be the first attempt at a joint research programme between the European Community and Member or Associated States, with the European countries involved contributing through their national programmes against AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis. Additional support is expected from industry and from private and public foundations.
The preparatory programme is being financed with 1.2 million euro of funding under the Quality of Life programme of the Fifth Framework programme for research, FP5.
The first day of the conference will concentrate on research and health policy issues and introduce the EDCTP initiative. The second day will focus on health research for development, with contributions from leading researchers and healthcare experts.
Arndt Hoeveler, acting head of the Research DG's 'Ageing population and diseases linked to poverty' unit, said he hoped to see the event gather 'momentum from the Member States and African countries to develop a new north-south partnership in this important area.'
For further information and to view the conference programme, please consult the following web address: http://europa.eu.int/comm/research/edctp.html