Feature story

Funding estimates for AIDS research and development

30 August 2007

20070830_vaccines_240.jpg
The HIV Vaccines and Microbicides Resource
Tracking Working Group was created to generate
and disseminate high-quality, detailed and
comparable data on annual investments in
preventive HIV vaccine and microbicide research
and development

For a comprehensive response to AIDS, developing additional HIV prevention methods and tools to prevent HIV – such as HIV vaccines and microbicides -- is a key component.

The continuing research and development of such prevention technologies relies on adequate and efficient funding and spending – and supporting this, high quality, detailed data on investment in this area of the AIDS response is critical.

In 2004, UNAIDS, the Alliance for Microbicide Development (AMD), the AIDS Vaccine Advocacy Coalition (AVAC) and the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) established a collaborative project to track funding for HIV vaccines and microbicide research and development.

The HIV Vaccines and Microbicides Resource Tracking Working Group was created to generate and disseminate high-quality, detailed and comparable data on annual investments in preventive HIV vaccine and microbicide research and development and policy and advocacy activities.  These data can be used to monitor current levels of effort; identify trends in investment, spending, and research focus; identify areas needing more resources and effort; assess the impact of public policies aimed at increasing investment in new prevention technologies; and provide a fact base for policy advocacy on research and development investments and allocations. 

The collaboration aims to monitor progress in the implementation of the Declaration of Commitment on HIV/AIDS, adopted at the United Nations General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) on HIV/AIDS in 2001. This declaration contains a number of global and national indicators that are being monitored on an annual basis by UNAIDS and others. The second of the global commitment and action indicators, is the “Amount of public funds available for research and development of vaccines and microbicides.”

In August 2007, the Working Group released a summary of the resource tracking efforts – the most up to date available data on sources of global funding and its allocation. These figures are produced to support larger resource needs estimations for the global AIDS response as a whole, which will be published in the later half of 2007

Among findings within the 2007 Working Group estimates on research and development are that while the current levels of funding are significant, there is a critical need to sustain and increase research and development investments for preventive vaccines, microbicides and other new options to optimally accelerate the development of and ensure eventual access to these HIV prevention tools.

As stated in the latest estimates report from the Working Group, in 2006, total global investment in preventive HIV-vaccine research and development was an estimated US$933 million, a 23% increase over 2005 funding levels. This increase in funding can primarily be attributed to new research initiatives funded through the US National Institutes of Health (NIH), Canada, the European Commission (EC) and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

However, financing needs are likely to remain substantial in the coming years, as funding is needed to explore new approaches to vaccine and microbicide design; bring novel candidates into the pipeline; support clinical trials to test the safety, immunogenicity and efficacy of new products; and translate research results, such as those for adult male circumcision, into policies and programmes.

The HIV Vaccines and Microbicides Resource Tracking Working Group group has systematically documented the amount of financial resources needed and the actual expenditures from public sources in research and development. This is a notable example in the resource tracking world because of the good quality of its results combined with a very dynamic group that is able to translate the financial estimates into a powerful advocacy tool”, said Jose Antonio Izazola-Licea, UNAIDS Senior Adviser, Resource and Finance Analysis. 




Links:

Read the full document on latest estimates on research and development investment and spending
Visit the Working Group's web site

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