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‘Neglected diseases’ are anything but neglected by the billion-plus people living with them

first_imgFirst Opinion‘Neglected diseases’ are anything but neglected by the billion-plus people living with them By Jerome H. Kim Jan. 4, 2019 Reprints Privacy Policy [email protected] In the United States, the Food and Drug Administration has a tropical disease program that grants a priority review voucher for a future (unspecified) product if a company licenses a vaccine against a particular poverty-associated infectious disease. These vouchers can be traded, and can have a value in the hundreds of millions of dollars. This is a start, but it hasn’t solved the problem.Even for vaccines whose development has been substantially funded by philanthropy, such as GlaxoSmithKline’s malaria vaccine, the in-kind, opportunity, and delay-associated costs are risks borne by pharma with only a halo effect as an incentive. I am not defending multinational pharmaceutical companies, but we must recognize that they have a number of global health vaccines in early development they have decided not to proceed further with. Instead, they wait in company freezers.Is this simply a lack of leadership? The horrors of Ebola led to a realization that the timely development of vaccines for particular epidemic diseases was impossible without a coordinated, international effort. Out of this was born the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, which launched in 2017 at the World Economic Forum with support from countries such as Norway, Germany, Britain, Japan, and India, and from philanthropic foundations such as the Gates Foundation and the Wellcome Trust. The coalition’s fund initially targeted vaccines for three diseases with outbreak potential — Middle East respiratory syndrome, Lassa fever, and Nipah — and it now has pledges of more than $740 million.Neglected diseases should not be victims. They must find a voice to attract leadership, advocacy, and funding so we can put PAID to solving these pressing global health needs. One useful strategy would be to prioritize and incentivize the development of vaccines for diseases that are a bigger problem in developing countries but that could also be useful in high-income countries.Health policy experts, politicians, CEOs, philanthropists, and others must step up and be the voice of the neglected. We know the problem and we have the solution in our hearts, our minds, and our wallets.Jerome Kim, M.D., is the director general of the International Vaccine Institute, a South Korea-based nonprofit international organization devoted to the discovery, development, and delivery of vaccines for global health. Jerome H. Kim Tags global healthNeglected DiseasesVaccines I dislike the term “neglected tropical diseases.” This collection of communicable diseases is neglected — a pejorative term — only by countries unaffected by them. They aren’t neglected by the 1 billion or more individuals afflicted with them, the millions who die from them, or the countries in which they live.The World Health Organization initially listed 13 diseases as “neglected.” Gaining consensus around what constitutes these diseases is as difficult as pronouncing dracunculiasis, schistosomiasis, or chromoblastomycosis. What’s more, there are diseases that kill tens or hundreds of thousands of people every year that don’t make the list, like hepatitis E, which kills 70,000 pregnant women a year, and group A streptococcus (the cause of strep throat), which kills 500,000 people a year.Peter Hotez, dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine, has argued that many of the neglected diseases aren’t exclusively “tropical” or even relegated to developing countries: dengue and Chagas disease have certainly been problems in the United States.advertisement Related: Newsletters Sign up for First Opinion A weekly digest of our opinion column, with insight from industry experts. Related:center_img Group A streptococcus kills 500,000 people a year. NIAID via AP 3 global health challenges to watch in 2019 Given the wide variety of these diseases, their symptoms, and the populations they affect, there is no face, no poster child that can be used to excite the sympathy of donors, engage the imagination of funders, or raise the specter of global contagion.At the most basic level, the global health community isn’t certain of the magnitude of some of these diseases. Does hepatitis E kill 70,000 people a year (the most widely quoted estimate) or 10,000 a year (the estimate provided by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation-funded Institute for Health Metrics Evaluation)? Does schistosomiasis kill 12,000 people a year or 200,000?There isn’t consensus on how to prioritize work against poverty-associated infectious diseases. Should we pick low-hanging fruit such as guinea worm, which now afflicts a small number of people (30 cases worldwide) but is nearing eradication, or should we focus on non-typhoidal salmonella that may kill 680,000 this year?If these diseases affected developed countries, incentives would exist for companies to develop new diagnostics, drugs, and vaccines. There would be funding to understand the critical elements of disease transmission and to implement effective prevention and control programs. An alternative designation, poverty-associated infectious diseases (PAID), better captures the essence of this hodgepodge. But it doesn’t do much to help define, prioritize, fund, and create incentives for action to reduce the burden of PAID around the world.What should be done to remedy this systematic failure, including the failure to promptly develop vaccines, the most cost-effective approach to infectious diseases and an essential part of the comprehensive solution to these diseases?advertisement About the Author Reprints Please enter a valid email address. @drjeromekim1 Leave this field empty if you’re human: It seems remarkable that the G-FINDER public search tool, a source of information on research funding, indicates that $1 billion is spent each year on neglected tropical disease research. Yet 80 percent of that funding goes to HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria, short-changing the other poverty-associated infectious diseases. Group A streptococcal disease, for example, received around $1 million in 2016 despite causing 500,000 deaths each year.Incentives are the complement to government research funding. If the U.S. National Institutes of Health funding pushes innovation, the promise of a “big vaccine” — and with it the creation of shareholder value — serves as a lure. If major vaccine companies were given sufficient incentives, including the removal of risk-related disincentives, to develop vaccines for Mali or South Sudan, perhaps solutions would already be at hand for schistosomiasis.Remarkable vaccines now exist against diseases like rotavirus diarrhea and cervical cancer that are problems in high-income as well as low-income countries. Getting those new products into vaccination programs has been a real achievement. But can we now flip the model and develop new vaccines against diseases that are a bigger problem in developing countries that might also be useful in high-income countries as well?From a pharmaceutical company’s perspective, it may cost $500 million to $1 billion to develop a vaccine, and only 1 in 10 new vaccines eventually reach the commercial market. In short, vaccines are expensive to develop and have a high risk of failure. That investment of time and money may pay off for a vaccine against pneumonia — Pfizer’s Prevenar brought in nearly $6 billion in 2017 — but it doesn’t for vaccines against dysentery, strep throat, or schistosomiasis that afflict people whose average income is less than a dollar a day. Priority review vouchers for tropical disease drugs simply aren’t working last_img read more

Nokia completes AlcaLu buy

first_img Previous ArticleFacebook warns growth will slowNext ArticleQualcomm Q4 boosted by China performance AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInLinkedInShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to MoreAddThisMore 03 NOV 2016 Alcatel-LucentNokia Kavit Majithia Tags Author Nokia makes AI move with Microsoft Relatedcenter_img Nokia scores Philippines 5G deal with Dito Español Alianza sobre IA entre Nokia y Microsoft Nokia completed its acquisition of network infrastructure vendor Alcatel-Lucent after buying out all outstanding shares, ending a purchase process that lasted 19 months.The Finnish company said it would now start “eliminating the complexity and costs of running two separate public companies”, with the joint entity “ready to seize global connectivity opportunities”.After announcing the deal in April 2015, the companies actually kicked off combined operations back in January this year, after receiving regulatory clearance for the tie up.Nokia took control of 79.32 per cent share capital and at least 78.97 per cent of the voting rights of Alcatel-Lucent, but the issue to buy out the remaining shares dragged on as smaller shareholders held out for a better price.The company eventually launched a public buy out for all remaining shares in September, after receiving clearance to go ahead with the offer in cash by stock market authority AMF.In a statement, Rajeev Suri claimed that the acquisition, in the end, “was smoother than many observers thought possible”.“While we have been operating as a combined company already since January 2016, we should take a moment to recognise the significance of today’s news,” he said.Nokia noted that it only took nine months after the deal was announced for the two players to be working as a combined company.In this week’s news statement it reiterated synergy targets from the deal of €1.2 billion in annual cost savings, achieved in full year 2018.The move marks the end of a three-year period of transformation for Nokia, starting with the purchase of Siemens’ share in Nokia Siemens Networks in 2013 and followed by the divestments of the vendor’s Devices & Services and mapping businesses in the next two years. Kavit joined Mobile World Live in May 2015 as Content Editor. He started his journalism career at the Press Association before joining Euromoney’s graduate scheme in April 2010. Read More >> Read more Home Nokia completes AlcaLu buylast_img read more

Consul General for Norway To Host a Civic Reception In Dumfries

first_imgImage of SS Corvus from Wikipedia AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to LinkedInLinkedInLinkedInNorwegian Defence Medal Presentation – Mr Ronald SawyerProvost of Dumfries Ted Thompson, supported by Mr David Windmill, Honorary Consul General for Norway will host a civic reception at the Municipal Chambers, Buccleuch Street, Dumfries, on Tuesday, 19 January 2016 in recognition of Mr Ronald Sawyer being awarded the Norwegian Defence Medal for serving on the Norwegian merchant ship, the SS Corvus, during the Second World War.Mr Sawyer, who was born in Croydon, Surrey in 1924 served on the Norwegian Ship the SS Corvus from April 1943 to May 1944 and served through three invasions working on the supply ship for First Army in North Africa and the invasions of Sicily and Italy.And this is his story:-“In the spring of 1943 I was a radio officer in the Merchant Navy. I was sent by the pool in London to join Corvus in Surrey Docks, London. We then sailed up the east coast to Oban in Scotland where we joined the largest convoy I was in. We then sailed for Gibraltar from there; we formed a convoy into the Mediterranean to North Africa with supplies and ammunition for the First Army. We then worked the African ports from Oran to Tunis until August of 1943 when we were going on as supply ship to the First Army on the invasion of Sicily having loaded ammunition, Bailey bridges and gasoline at Biserta. The First Army moved quickly through Sicily and crossed the Mesema Straights. They continued to move very fast up the Adriatic Coast of Italy.We then received orders to go up the Adriatic which meant crossing the bay of Torranto; we were unescorted with orders to continue on the Adriatic until further orders. Having crossed the Bay of Torranto we continued keeping as close as possible to the Albanian coast. When we got more or less level with Bari in Italy our orders were to enter the harbour there but, with so many minefields, the Royal Navy came out to meet us; they had timber launches towing metal paravanes to go in ahead of us on a swept channel; our cargo contained bombs for the Royal Air Force with shells and ammunition on top and fuses under the hatch covers; on top of the hatches we had Bailey Bridges and on the well decks 45 gallon drums of gasoline. When we docked the First Army was there waiting for us.Having discharged the cargo we left to return to North Africa for another cargo. I had been taking messages in code during the night and then decoded the messages. I learnt that the Italian forces were going to surrender and if we saw any Italian ships or submarines flying a black tenant we were not to open fire on them but escort them to port. I informed the Master of the Corvus who was Captain Behn and the gunlayer. I thought no more of it until about 2 hours later when I looked astern and saw an Italian submarine flying a black pendant. We escorted it to North Africa where the Captain gave me some uniform badges, which I still have, and he told me that during the war they had waited on the Spanish side of the Mediterranean for ships leaving Gibraltar.We then reloaded in North Africa and became ammunition supply ship for the 8th Army on the west coast of Italy. We were mainly in company with another Norwegian ship, the Torfinn Jarl, and worked that coast mainly up to Naples and Anzio.1943 came and past and in the summer of 1944 we were to return to the UK; I think the intention was to go on the invasion of Europe.On the voyage from Gibraltar to the UK we were Command ship of the convoy as we had been many times before; when we reached the Western Approaches we crossed to the St Georges channel and became the first convoy to go up the Irish sea to Liverpool as it had been closed to shipping because so many ships had been sunk by the U-Boats. It then became apparent that the Corvus needed some repairs to be carried out so I went on leave and was then sent by the Merchant Navy pool to join another ship.I should mention at this time some of the things that happened.On the day we loaded to go on the invasion of Sicily at Ferryville and Bizerta also loaded were the infantry landing craft; that night we were heavily attacked by Stuka Dive Bombers with screamers on their wings; we lost quite a few tank landing craft but then went onto the invasion (I think the date was August 18th 1943). We were quite short of food that winter but I managed to acquire a motor car and drove across the Catania Plain where I heard there were some Naffi supplies. I managed to get some clothing, shirts etc. for the crew as the weather was getting colder. I also got some chocolate and bottles of whisky and gin for Christmas of 1943; with no refrigerator Christmas consisted of tins of corned beef, salt fish in barrels and what I called fishky balls (like eggs but made of fish that were in store).Also of interest was the fact we brought out from the port of Bari some injured paras from the fighting with the First Army. When I joined Corvus some of the crew did not speak very good English and had escaped from Norway to Britain by small boats etc. They made me very welcome and one of them gave me a large Norwegian dictionary which I still have.I had now been sent to another ship and did not return to the UK until the end of December 1945. I always bore in mind to try and find out what happened to Corvus but I had no success for many years. Living in Cornwall earlier this century I found two friends who were divers and I then found out what happened to the Corvus. The ship was in a convoy from Wales up channel and escorted by the Royal Navy when the convoy was attacked by two U-Boats and Corvus was torpedoed and sunk with all hands lost. The Royal Navy sunk both U-Boats with depth charges. The divers in Cornwall have dived down to her and she is lying on the sea bed 20 miles off the Lizard Point in 30 fathoms of water; when she was sunk she broke in half just forward of the bridge and the forward section is now alongside the stern section; the divers brought to the surface the bell from the wheelhouse of Corvus”Ship HistoryThe SS Corvus was a 1,317 GRT Norwegian Steamship built in Copenhagen in 1920/21 by Kjøbenhavns Flydedok and Skibsværft A/S for the Norwegian passenger ship company Det Bergenske Dampskibsselskab of Bergen. The vessel was 74 metres in length and was first launched on 23 December 1920.Provost Ted Thompson, Civic Head of Dumfries and Galloway Council, said;“As an ex-Merchant Navy seaman myself, it is a privilege and honour to be part of this occasion and I look forward to meeting Mr Sawyer and to have the opportunity to hear of his experience during the Second World War on board the SS Corvus”.last_img read more