TriageTB's funder, the European & Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP), published its Annual Report 2019 on August 14, 2020. The report shows the steady growth, scope, and cohesion of the project portfolio, and highlights the progress made towards the objectives of the programme.
The EDCTP is a public-public partnership between 14 European and 16 African countries, supported by the European Union. Its mission is to accelerate the development of new or improved medicinal products for the identification, treatment, and prevention of infectious diseases, including emerging and re-emerging diseases, through pre- and post-registration clinical studies, with emphasis on phase II and III clinical trials.
EDCTP-funded grants support activities at more than 200 institutions in 37 countries in sub-Saharan Africa and at 150 institutions in 16 European countries.
Ten new calls for proposal were launched in 2019, bringing the total number of the second EDCTP programme (EDCTP2) calls to 53.
By the end of 2019, the number of grants supported by EDCTP2 since 2014 reached 271. A complete list of the partnership’s projects can be found here.
The total funding provided by the EDCTP between 2014 and 2019 amounts to €608.41 M. Most funding was awarded to the EDCTP’s 84 collaborative clinical trials and clinical studies, which received €526.04 M in total. The partnership awarded €51.27 M to 57 clinical research capacity strengthening projects and €31.10 M to 130 fellowships that focus on the career development of individual researchers between 2014 and 2019.
The EDCTP portfolio is well-balanced, with 63.1% of projects being focused on the three major poverty-related infectious diseases (HIV and HIV-associated infections, tuberculosis, and malaria), 15.5% on neglected infectious diseases, 10.7% on emerging and re-emerging infections, and 10.7% on diarrhoeal diseases and lower respiratory tract infections.
Of the 84 collaborative clinical trials and clinical studies included in the EDCTP’s portfolio, almost 30% (24 projects) focus on tuberculosis. The number of tuberculosis-oriented projects is almost as high as that of projects that focus on malaria (12 grants) and HIV and HIV-associated infections (16) combined.
Divided by disease, tuberculosis-focused projects received 27.9% (€146.73 M) of the total funding (€526.04 M) awarded by the EDCTP to its collaborative clinical research projects between 2014 and 2019.
Professor Yazdan Yazdanpanah, Chair of the EDCTP General Assembly, writes in his foreword to the EDCTP Annual Report 2019 that “the EDCTP’s commitment to capacity building – embedded in its clinical trial support and through specific grants – is laying the foundation for the research of the future in sub-Saharan Africa.”
This is echoed in an article summarising the report on the EDCTP website, which states that “the development of research capacity and the capacity for research ethics review and regulatory oversight has already made a difference beyond projects alone. Whether through fellowships for all career stages, networks of excellence and research consortia, or cross-border networks and North-South collaborations, the value of investing in African research capacity has become evident in the way this expertise and these platforms are currently used to confront the COVID-19 pandemic in sub-Saharan Africa.”
TriageTB’s major focus on capacity building efforts goes hand in hand with the EDCTP’s commitment to strengthen the capacity of multiple countries in sub-Saharan Africa. A recent article on the TriageTB project website explains in detail how TriageTB’s capacity strengthening scheme, led by Professor Hazel Dockrell from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), is tailored to foster active and mutually beneficial mentoring relationships over long distances.