The annual G-FINDER report provides policy-makers, donors, researchers, and industry with a comprehensive analysis of global investment into research and development (R&D) of new products to prevent, diagnose, control, or cure neglected diseases in developing countries. It gives an up-to-date analysis of how R&D investments are being allocated across 36 neglected diseases, and product types, funding trends over time, and where the potential gaps lie.
Dr Nathalie Strub-Wourgaft, DNDi Director of Neglected Tropical Diseases
“DNDi welcomes the findings of this year’s G-FINDER report, which showed that global funding for neglected disease research and development (R&D) at $4 billion in 2018 was at the highest level ever recorded, and marked the first time that funding has grown for three consecutive years.
However, amidst the positive stories of widespread funding increases and record highs, funding for neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) has been essentially flat for the past decade. In fact, it has gone backwards: funding for these diseases was almost 10% lower in 2018 than it was 2009, dropping by $34m, or 9.1%. Leishmaniasis, Chagas disease, and sleeping sickness, for example, together accounted for just 4% of global funding, and only $0.9 million was spent on mycetoma R&D in 2018.
Flatlined funding for NTDs is proof that the world is not paying enough attention to the biomedical needs of the most vulnerable. It will be impossible to alleviate poverty, or achieve gender equity, quality universal health coverage, or any of the other Sustainable Development Goals without urgent course correction, and increased, sustained investment in R&D for NTDs.
It is only the sustained, long-term commitment of numerous donors that make medical breakthroughs possible, such as the development by DNDi of fexinidazole – the first all-oral, short course treatment for both stages of sleeping sickness. We are also running a study in DRC and Guinea of acoziborole, a new single-dose oral drug that could be a game-changer for sustainable elimination of the disease. If successful, it would bring a simple, safe, and effective treatment that – together with a rapid diagnostic test – could be administered at home.”