Recently due to Ebola outbreak, the financing for research and development into so called neglected diseases rose recently,which usually affecting the lower-income population and private sector contribution score the biggest share according to the available data from the Gates-Foundation supported database.
Survey design therefore focused on two elements. The first was disease, product, and research scope; the second was design of the survey tool that would be used to collect the data. Both were determined in consultation with an international Advisory Committee and Stakeholder.
Policy cures, an organization provided an analysis to support research and development effort for disease which significantly affects the developing world. ,as shown in its 2016 G-Finder report, on the research and development funding in 2015 for neglected disease.Policy cures analyses funding for various neglected tropical diseases such as Ebola, Tuberculosis, HIV, and Malaria. The data is collected through its G-Finder database, which sends survey to philanthropic, public and private funders.
Report says, in 2015 funding for Ebola and other African viral hemorrhagic fever was US$631million, with the majority of funds going towards Ebola research and development, the increase reflects R&D spending after 2014 outbreak. Noticeably, if Ebola was included the overall figures would have touched around US$3627 million. Without the impact of Ebola financing the figure had gone down to US$68million from 2014 findings.
Disease, product, research and scope
The first difficulty was to reach agreement on what constituted a neglected disease, since differing lists were used by the World Health Organization, the Commission on Macroeconomics and Health, the Global Network for Tropical Diseases, and a range of academic authors. We therefore created a matrix of all Type II and III diseases that had been nominated by a major health organization or publication as neglected diseases of the developing world, and all relevant products for each disease. A detailed list of R&D activities for each disease and product was also prepared based on previous categorizations developed by the United States National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Well come Trust.
These lists were then submitted to the Advisory Committee, who were asked to include or exclude diseases and products based on three filtering criteria. They were also asked to confirm or amend the detailed list of R&D activities for each product disease area. This was particularly important for diagnostics, vector-control products, and platform technologies, where development pathways for commercial and public health markets can differ.
Survey tools and survey process
In order to achieve this, we followed two core principles. Firstly, only raw primary data reported by the funders, product development partnerships (PDPs), and product developers themselves were included in the survey. If these data were not available, they were not supplemented with secondary data or estimates. Secondly, in order to make the data as comparable and consistent as possible, all raw primary grant data were collected using the same online/offline reporting tool and inclusion/exclusion framework for all survey recipients. The only exception was the NIH, where a proportion of grants could not be collected in this way due to NIH data management system changes.
Survey participants were asked to enter every neglected disease grant they had disbursed or received in 2007 into a password-protected online database, including the grant amount, grant identification number, a brief description of the grant, and the name of the funder or recipient of the grant.
Neglected disease funder: who are they?
Funding by sectors
Neglected disease funding remains primarily the realm of public and philanthropic donors, who collectively invested US$2.3 billion or 90% of the total funding in 2007. Public donors, including government and multilateral groups, provided US$1.78 billion (69%) while philanthropic and not-for-profit funders invested US$538 million (21%). Although only two IDCs were included in year one of the survey, they represented 1% of global spending. IDC figures are expected to be substantially larger in subsequent G-FINDER surveys due to the inclusion of India, China, and Cuba.
The private pharmaceutical industry provided around 9% of the global total, with an aggregate investment of US$231.8 million. This collectively made the pharmaceutical industry the third largest global investor in neglected disease R&D behind the NIH and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Small companies and biotechs represented around 20% of reported industry investment (US$46.2 million), with multinational firms contributing US$185.7 million (80%).
Funding by government
The US Government represented nearly three quarters of global public spending with an investment of US$1.25 billion (70%) through its various institutes and
departments. European Governments and the European Commission collectively provided US$384.9 million (22%), with the UK, the Netherlands, Republic of Ireland, and Sweden dominating the field. The increasing role played by some non-G7 economies was notable, with Brazil ranking as the 6th largest government funder and Russia as the 10th.
Funding by organizations
It was also illuminating to examine funding from the perspective of individual organizations. This showed that global investment into creating new neglected disease products is heavily reliant on a mere handful of donors. Twelve organizations provided around 80% of global funding, with the NIH and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation collectively investing US$1.51 billion or 59.5% of the total.
Funding Recipients: Who Are They?
Neglected disease R&D is conducted by a wide variety of organizations, including academic groups, public institutions, and private companies. Some rely entirely on external grants for their neglected disease R&D programmes, while others fund their programmes from their own budgets, and yet others operate on a mix of both.
Funders also appeared to increasingly rely on PDPs to manage and allocate funding. Twenty-three percent of donor funding was routed via PDPs, who reallocated it to industry and academic partner programmes, rather than being granted directly by donors to recipient organisations.
Limitation to the methodology
However, it is also important to note the limitations of the survey. The greatest limitation is survey non-completion, particularly by maximum priority groups who are by definition major funders or play a significant R&D role in a specific disease-product area. We believe that data from publicmaximum priority funders are close to 100% complete, since all identified public groups provided full data.
A second area where missing private sector data are likely to distort results is that of diagnostics, where smaller companies play an active role. A total of 150 small firms were identified as having neglected disease R&D activity, many of them working in the diagnostic field, particularly HIV and TB diagnostics; however, only 28 of these provided data for the survey.
The international federation of pharmaceutical manufacturer and association (IFPMA) released a statement on 16 February summing up the report survey for private industry and specifically noting that large number of companies in private sector creates the potential for this funding to be more stable source than public or philanthropic backing.