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US, Gates Foundation Plan $200M for Sickle Cell, HIV Cures


Thursday, 24 October 2019 10:50 WIB

Global


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The U.S. government and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation pledged Wednesday to jointly invest $200 million over the next four years to achieve affordable gene therapy-based cures for sickle cell disease (SCD) and HIV.

The administration of President Donald Trump announced earlier this year its intention to end the HIV epidemic over the next decade and has also identified SCD, which disproportionately affects people of African descent, as a condition requiring greater attention.

Gene therapy is a relatively new area of medicine designed to replace faulty genes in the body that are responsible for a disorder, and has been responsible for new treatments for blindness and certain types of leukemia.

But the treatments are complex and costly, ruling them out as an option for most of the world.

Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, said the collaboration would focus therefore on "access, scalability and affordability" to make sure the eventual treatments are available globally.

The NIH and Gates Foundation aim to achieve clinical trials in the United States and countries in sub-Saharan Africa within the next seven to 10 years.

Source : VOA


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