The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation joined German billionaire Dietmar Hopp in a venture syndicate that is injecting a whopping $110 million of fresh funds into CureVac, a German mRNA biotech which has now garnered some $330 million in support.
In recent months, experts have raised concerns about the time and costs involved in developing lifesaving vaccines. Now, Sanofi Pasteur, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Infectious Disease Research Institute (IDRI) are joining together to do their part to improve things.
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is throwing its weight behind CureVac, a German biotech working to transform patients' cells into drug factories, committing $52 million in hopes of developing vaccines for the developing world.
Blood from Ebola patients who have survived infection has been used to treat patients actively fighting the virus. Now the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is backing efforts to test the efficacy of and scale up the production of convalescent plasma and other potential treatments in the field.
The DNA Medicine Institute, developer of a diagnostic device that can perform hundreds of clinical lab tests with a single drop of blood, won the Nokia Sensing Xchallenge for promising medical sensing technologies.
As government health agencies and industry players ramp up efforts to bring experimental therapies as quickly as possible to people affected by the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation said Wednesday that it is putting up $50 million to aid drug development and outbreak response efforts.
Cambridge, U.K.'s Kymab touts its drug development platform as an ideal way to spotlight new antibodies, and some bright minds would seem to agree, as the Wellcome Trust and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation have teamed up on a $40 million round for the biotech.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has picked Susan Desmond-Hellmann to lead as its next CEO, bringing the Genentech veteran's years of experience in drug development and academia to one of the largest charitable organizations in the world.
In its joint venture, Glaxo will front $1.8 million for work on the thermostability of vaccines. GSK will set out to make adjuvants--used to boost the effectiveness of vaccines--more heat stable. The project fits within the broad scope of work attempting to break the "cold chain" supply process that requires vaccines to remain refrigerated--a big challenge for developing countries.
Two major milestones will accelerate Zyomyx's push to get its point-of-care HIV diagnostic test out into the developing world. The company sealed a deal for $12 million in fresh financing and also agreed to make Mylan its distribution partner in a move that will help the test reach global, emerging markets.