On 30 September, the EU Malaria Fund (EUMF) concluded its investment activities at a high-level online event by finalizing its investments into four innovative companies active in malaria R&D. The EUMF has successfully expanded the pipeline of malaria R&D by funding nine promising and innovative malaria projects, covering treatments, vaccines, and diagnostics.
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the game and led to the deployment of four EMA-approved, safe, and effective vaccines within less than 12 months. With this novel need to develop a large project on a now proven technology platform, the EUMF has successfully accomplished its mission earlier than expected. The EUMF will now enter its post-investment period.
The EUMF is grateful to the European Commission and the European Investment Bank (EIB), the major contributors to the Fund through the InnovFin EU programme funded by EU Horizon 2020 and the European Fund of Strategic Investments.
Other investors and supporters include the Investitionsbank Berlin, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Fondazione Monte Dei Paschi Di Siena, Jacques und Gloria Gossweiler Stiftung, Invethos AG, FINDdx, and Novartis AG. The fund was initiated by kENUP Foundation in cooperation with EIB and is managed by IBB Group Berlin.
The investments would not have been possible without the excellent work of the Funds Scientific Advisory Council and the Investment Decision Committee.
On 26 July, BioNTech SE announced the start of its Malaria project which aims at the development of a safe and highly effective malaria vaccine and the implementation of sustainable vaccine supply solutions on the African continent. The program was initiated by kENUP Foundation. Additional such programmes are currently being conceived and could cover other infectious diseases, such as tuberculosis and HIV.
Pedro Alonso, Director of the World Health Organization's Global Malaria Programme, states: "The EU Malaria Fund is a great example how innovative new instruments can ultimately lead to impact. Malaria is the biggest killer of mankind. It affects the poorest and contributes to keeping them in poverty. I would like to thank everyone involved in the EU Malaria Fund project for their contribution to fighting malaria."
Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth: "Malaria is one of the most challenging diseases to beat and all efforts to find new vaccines or preventive means are important. For decades the European Union's research and innovation programmes provided support to contribute to the global research agenda for malaria and we are committed to continue these efforts."
Werner Hoyer, President of the European Investment Bank: "Malaria kills more than 1000 people each day ? most of them children. Every step in the fight against the disease is welcome and much needed. Thanks to the successful work of the EU Malaria Fund, which financed nine promising projects, we significantly increased our chances to find new medications, diagnostics and vaccines. I am proud that the EIB is part of this effort."
The video recording and more information can be found at https://www.controlmalaria.eu/news#conclusion
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