Making ties through making drugs
In the past ten years or so, Product Development Partnerships (PDPs) consisting of non-profit organisations, pharmaceutical companies, philanthropists and universities have formed to develop new vaccines and drugs for tuberculosis (TB) and malaria for the first time in decades. PDPs currently exist for most of the infectious diseases persisting in low-income countries, including tuberculosis, malaria, Chagas disease, filarial diseases, leishmaniasis and human African tripanosomiasis. TB Alliance, Aeras, Malaria Vaccine Initiative (MVI) and Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative (DNDi) function differently in important specifics, but all four PDPs are unquestionably about finding biotechnical solutions to what all see as the travesty of continued suffering from preventable infectious diseases. TB Alliance also have extensive community engagement programmes in the areas in which they work, developing TB educational outreach to high-burden regions while gaining feedback on the design of clinical trials and community preferences in modes of treatment.