Generous grants from DFID aim to help save lives by supporting R&D for new health treatments and tests

5-year grant awarded to FIND to develop new diagnostic tests for TB, malaria and sleeping sickness

Geneva, Switzerland – 2 September 2013 The UK Department for International Development (DFID) has announced that it will renew its support to the Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND) for the development of new diagnostic tests for neglected diseases of the poor, including TB, sleeping sickness, and malaria. The grant will be disbursed over the next five years (2013-2018) and will allow FIND to continue to accelerate diagnostics development for infectious diseases.

After a first grant to FIND in 2010-2013, DFID has been a key factor in the accomplishments of the not-for-profit organization. FIND’s focus is on the development of new diagnostic tests for neglected diseases such as TB, malaria and sleeping sickness. In the past few years, its portfolio has grown to include leishmaniasis, Chagas disease and non-malarial fevers. For 10 years, FIND and partners have made significant advances in the field of diagnostics by developing and making available six improved, affordable and easy-to-use diagnostic tests for Tuberculosis, an enhanced blood transfer device for rapid diagnostic test (RDT) kits, and three robust and easy-to-use tests for sleeping sickness, including the first-ever RDT for screening the chronic form of the disease, Trypanosoma brucei gambiense.

“Forming major long-term commitment with supporting partners is a key factor in FIND’s work and achievements,” said Dr. Catharina Boehme, Chief Executive Officer of FIND. “DFID’s support is greatly appreciated and will help us to pursue the development of diagnostics that are needed to reduce the impact of infectious diseases on both patients and health systems. At this stage of maturity of our portfolio, solid funding and partnership count more than ever. ”

Over the next five years, FIND and health partners will continue to accelerate diagnostics development by working on new rapid tests for sleeping sickness and asymptomatic carriers of malaria which will greatly improve disease control and case management. Furthermore, FIND will focus on providing a strong and balanced pipeline of diagnostics, including 3-4 fully evaluated tests and another 4-6 for which technical feasibility has been established.

With partnerships in industry and public institutions, FIND reinforces the development of diagnostic tests by targeting cross-platform technologies that serve health systems. Globally, FIND forms different partnerships, each contributing to the different research and development needs of national health programs, from the national referral labs all the way down to the community health worker.

‘Working together in product development partnerships, the public and private sectors have a chance to bring together their expertise for the benefit of millions of the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people’, said the UK’s Secretary of State for International Development, Honorable Justine Greening.

DFID leads the UK’s work to end extreme poverty. They are working towards ending the need for aid by creating jobs, unlocking the potential of girls and women and helping to save lives when humanitarian emergencies hit.