Ms Mariya Gabriel delivers an opening speech, via pre-recorded video-message, at the third Global Health European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership, EDCTP3
Ms Mariya Gabriel yesterday delivered an opening speech, via pre-recorded video-message, at the third Global Health European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership, EDCTP3.
"Check against delivery"
Dear ladies and gentlemen, dear friends,
I am pleased to open the launch event of our third Global Health European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership, EDCTP3.
Firstly, let me thank our partners for their long-term commitment to identifying, treating, and preventing poverty-related and neglected infectious diseases.
This partnership has become the focal point for our two continents' work towards global health research and innovation. So far, we have jointly invested over 1.4 billion euros in 440 grants, including 140 clinical trials projects and over 210 fellowships.
The participation of more than 500 European and African institutions reflects the collaborative nature of this partnership.
Indeed, EDCTP has been a game-changer since we first set it up in 2003.
Allow me to share three examples of what this partnership has brought to date.
We have been focussing on improving access to medicine for the vulnerable population.
The development of malaria vaccine for children was the first ever vaccine recommended by the World Health Organisation was supported through EDCTP funding.
And we are now working on developing the first multi-stage vaccine for malaria with very good results.
Another example with potential for high impact is the work carried out by the Pediatric Praziquantel Consortium.
They are developing a child-friendly tablet formulation of the medication to treat the acute and chronic disease caused by parasitic worms, affecting more than 50 million preschool-aged children.
The result of a phase 3 trial confirmed that this medication could achieve more than 90% cure rates and was safe and well-tolerated by young children.
This year the consortium aims to submit the regulatory file to the European Medicines Agency and once approved it will make the product available on a non-profit basis.
It is a fact that building capacity by focusing on people, processes, and infrastructure is necessary for conducting high-quality clinical research.
This is why four EDCTP Regional Networks of Excellence have been set up, providing infrastructure development, training and mentoring, resource sharing and harmonisation.
EDCTP has also provided funding to ethics and regulatory clinical review capacity in sub-Saharan Africa, supporting activities in 37 countries.
The strength of the partnership and the investment in research capacity was tested during the covid 19 pandemic. Many of the funded clinical research infrastructures were repurposed to aid the public health response the pandemic in Africa.
EDCTP rapidly activated its emergency funding mechanism and supported 27 projects exploring key issues such as diagnostics, immune responses, and possible control strategies.
Many of these projects have been built on existing collaborations between sub-Saharan Africa and Europe institutions.
It has been reassuring to see these partners – including biotechnology startups – combining public and private capabilities, innovation, and expertise in the clinical development of treatments and diagnostic tools.
I would like to stress the obvious: investing in education and training for the next generation of scientist and medical staff is crucial.
Over 205 researchers have had the opportunity to participate in fellowship programs focusing on career development.
Moreover, 580 African trainees, of which 46% are women, have benefited from hands-on training in larger clinical research grants.
I am confident that EDCTP 3 will continue to operate as a true ''partnership of equals' working to achieve the ambitious goals and investments we have set up together.
Please continue attracting new private partners. The pharmaceutical industry and other innovative businesses must continue to work with us and support the most vulnerable populations. They are crucial for EDCTP 3's reinforced focus on late-stage R&D phase 3 and 4 trials.
Please also continue working in relevant initiatives to offer a world-class comprehensive training programme for women and men, integrating research, health care and administration.
I am confident that EDCTP3 will deliver new technologies and solutions to combat infectious diseases in sub-Saharan Africa and across the world.
You can count on my support. I wish you a fantastic EDCTP 3 launch event.
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