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GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and Novartis have announced the launch of a collaboration to support scientific research into genetic diversity in Africa and the potential impact in response to drugs.
GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and Novartis have announced, in a Jan. 19, 2021 press release, the launch of a collaboration to support scientific research into genetic diversity in Africa and the potential impact in response to drugs.
Project Africa Genomic Research Approach for Diversity and Optimizing Therapeutics (GRADIENT) will span five years and has a combined funding commitment worth £2.8 million (US $3.6 million). African researchers are invited to submit robust research proposals to the project on the relevance of African genetic diversity to the treatment of malaria and tuberculosis. Funding will be granted via three mechanisms—fellowships, investigator-sponsored research, and seed funding.
“At GSK, human genetics is a core pillar of our R&D strategy. Genetic diversity is greater in Africa than in any other continental population resulting in some African patients having varying response to treatments,” said Pauline Williams, senior vice-president Global Health Pharma at GSK, in the press release. “We are excited to launch Project Africa GRADIENT which aims to catalyze the best science in the continent to optimise treatment responses for malaria and tuberculosis, two infectious diseases that disproportionately affect African populations.”
“Novartis has a long-standing commitment to improving and extending the lives of patients around the world. Our efforts include seeking innovative ways to improve the standard of care where possible. This is why we are excited by this important collaboration on scientific research on genetic diversity in Africa,” added Lutz Hegemann, chief operating officer for Global Health at Novartis, in the press release. “It has the potential to improve the efficacy and tolerability of current and future medicines, starting with two of the most deadly diseases, malaria and tuberculosis. In alignment with our ongoing efforts to strengthen scientific capabilities in lower-resource settings, this project also provides opportunities for training young African scientists in the use of advanced research methodologies and mentoring on drug development.”