The Editorial at PLOS Medicine today heralds a new surge of interest in and hope for medicines to tackle neglected diseases:
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Stephen Lewis, the Secretary-General's Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa, said that the world could face "carnage" because of a lack of money and global commitment to find a vaccine for AIDS.
I don't think the world yet realizes the carnage that is to come. I don't think the world yet realizes the full, incomparable horror of AIDS, and its inexorable spread around the planet.
Lewis said the quest for a vaccine received US$640 million in funding in 2004, about half of the amount that should be dedicated to the research.
An interesting article in the Hindu Business Line looks at the growing use of vaccines in India.
Here is what caught my eye:
Mary Robinson, former president of Ireland and former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, argues in the Bangkok Post that vaccination should be considered a human right.
The results from a new study published in The Lancet today (free registration required) demonstrates that measles immunization campaigns and improvements in routine immunization services have reduced measles cases by 91% in 19 African nations from 2000-2003, preventing an estimated 90,000 child deaths in 2003 alone.
Global pharma major Wyeth is planning to make its vaccine for pneumococcal (bacterial) diseases available in India soon, promising protection to infants and children against a number of diseases.
"Wyeth in India is working on making its vaccine for pneumococcal diseases available here soon," the company said in a statement on Wednesday.
This report by Nancy Birdsall, Adeel Malik and Milan Vaishnav was prepared for the World Bank's Operations Evaluation Department. The report focuses on the role of the World Bank in support of poverty reduction during the period beginning in 1990 and concluding in 2003. It reviews and discusses the Bank's analytic work and its efforts to bring change through policy dialogue and lending programs.
According to this piece from Reuters:
Merck & Co., already strapped with declining earnings and a weak roster of future drugs, could fall further behind in its quest for new medicines...
Merck's hopes to fill the void by launching three promising vaccines in the coming year, including ones against viruses that cause cervical cancer and shingles. Another vaccine targets the diarrhea-causing rotavirus which kills hundreds of thousands of children in developing countries each year.
The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) has launched a process to respond to the introduction â€“ sometime in mid-2006 â€“ of a vaccine to immunize against a virus associated with cervical cancer. The virus is the human papilloma virus, or HPV. An HPV vaccine is now under development and according to Dr.