GSK and Novartis have called on African researchers to submit research proposals on the relevance of African genetic diversity to the treatment of malaria and tuberculosis.
The ‘Project Africa Genomic Research Approach for Diversity and Optimising Therapeutics’ comes with a combined funding commitment of $3.6 million over five years, Novartis said in a statement on Tuesday.
The combined effort will support high-quality scientific research investigating the link between genetic diversity across different regions in Africa and its potential impact on response to drug therapeutics.
“Novartis has a long-standing commitment to improving and extending the lives of patients around the world. Our efforts include seeking innovative ways to improve the standard of care where possible. This is why we are excited by this important collaboration on scientific research on genetic diversity in Africa.
“It has the potential to improve the efficacy and tolerability of current and future medicines, starting with two of the most deadly diseases, malaria and tuberculosis,” Chief Operating Officer for Global Health at Novartis, Lutz Hegemann, said.
Also commenting on the project, Senior Vice President Global Health Pharma at GSK, Pauline Williams, explained, “At GSK, human genetics is a core pillar of our research and development strategy. Genetic diversity is greater in Africa than in any other continental population resulting in some African patients having varying responses to treatments.
“We are excited to launch Project Africa GRADIENT which aims to catalyse the best science in the continent to optimise treatment responses for malaria and tuberculosis, two infectious diseases that disproportionately affect African populations.”
The project’s funding mechanisms include fellowships, investigator-sponsored research, and seed-fund and will give priority to research aimed at collecting data from currently under-represented regions.
Get real time update about this post categories directly on your device, subscribe now.