Copyright 2001 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved.
Applicable FARS/DFARS Restrictions Apply to Government Use.2001
In Reply: We agree with Mr Ford and Dr Torreele
that research and development of therapies for "neglected" diseases is an
urgent priority. Innovative approaches to facilitate the development of drugs
and vaccines for diseases that predominantly affect the developing world will
require commitment by (and partnerships between) government, industry, academia,
nongovernmental organizations, and philanthropies.
At the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID),
research into parasitic and tropical diseases has been an important focus
for more than 50 years, in intramural laboratories, at grantee institutions,
and through global health research networks such as the International Centers
for Tropical Disease Research.1 Government-sponsored
research in pathogen genomics, as well as efforts to identify metabolic pathways,
receptor-ligand interactions, and other potential targets for intervention,
sets the stage for the development of new drugs and vaccines against infectious
diseases. In this regard, it is incumbent that government agencies and others
continue to pursue innovative ways to collaborate with industry to fight diseases
that are not addressed by market forces. One example is the NIAID Challenge
Grants Program, in which NIAID provides matching funds to companies that will
commit their own dollars and resources toward developing new drugs and vaccines
for diseases of global health importance.2
Folkers GK, Fauci AS. Neglected Diseases of Global Importance—Reply. JAMA. 2001;286(23):2943–2944. doi:10.1001/jama.286.23.2940
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