$3.6m fund to support scientific research into genetic diversity in Africa launched

A British pharmaceutical (GSK) and Swiss multinational pharmaceutical (Novartis), have announced the launch of a collaboration to support high-quality scientific research investigating the link between genetic diversity across different regions in Africa and its potential impact on response to drug therapeutics.

The Project Africa Genomic Research Approach for Diversity and Optimizing Therapeutics (GRADIENT), with a combined funding commitment of US$3.6 million over five years, calls on African researchers to submit robust research proposals on the relevance of African genetic diversity to the treatment of malaria and tuberculosis.

“We are excited to launch Project Africa GRADIENT which aims to catalyze the best science in the continent to optimize treatment responses for malaria and tuberculosis, two infectious diseases that disproportionately affect African populations,” Pauline Williams, Senior Vice President Global Health Pharma at GSK said.

The project will provide opportunities for training young African scientists in the use of advanced research methodologies and mentoring on drug development. It comprises three funding mechanisms to support; Fellowships, Investigator-sponsored research and Seed-Fund for a limited number of projects to enable the exploration of new research goals, depending on the results from 1 and 2.

As part of the agreement, the South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC) will administer the project and a Joint Steering Committee will review the submitted proposals. Researchers based at universities, science councils and other public research organizations across Africa are invited to express their ‘intent to submit’ by March 1, 2021. Final award recipients are expected to be announced by end of 2021. Research on data collection from under-represented regions is expected to be given priority.

All the collated datasets are expected to be made available through a public database to catalyze a positive change in approach to understand the different types of treatment efficacies along with patient safety across Africa.

Photo courtesy /Google

Opportunity on Funds Beeline: https://www.fundsbeeline.com/funding/view_opportunity/13003/OPP016696