Earth Summit 2002   Research Partnerships

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Partnerships for Health Research



Strengthening Partnerships in Health Research for Sustainable Development


Partners: African Environment and Human Development Agency; Ghanaian government; Human Science Research Council; Ifakara Health Research and Development; Medicines for Malaria Venture; National Research Foundation, pharmaceutical companies; Swiss Commission for Research Partnership.


Needs / areas of concern identified:


Create new directions in health research partnerships

Additional ideas / future partners for our Research Institute

Start discussions on "transitional" pharmaceutical business model

R&D in tropical diseases is still not at the right level - can we correct this?

How to involve DECs in R&D in drug research?

Discover, develop and deliver new medicines to fight malaria


Develop a health research agenda

Facilitate the South to set her own research agenda

Use human resources available in South and experience of North to collaborate on drug discovery and development

Create more partnerships

Use best practice model, expand into other areas

Community needs must be focus, beneficiary and determinant of research


Get commitments to health research partnerships

Commitment to partnership

Formal commitments


Implementation and evaluation of health research partnerships

Funding / financial implications for partnerships

Monitoring tools for R&D

Re-evaluate partnership timeframes

Monitoring and evaluation tools / mechanisms


Develop a program to share experiences and best practices

Scenario of success stories (partnerships)

Best practice of North-South partnership model achieved


Define research partnerships and develop guidelines on how to live it

Guidelines (future)

Levels for formalizing agreements

Provide guidelines for mutually beneficial partnerships

Share ownership of research with partners: researchers and [the] researched

A common understanding of partnership in research

Guidelines for partnership in research

Status of working relationships (criteria)

A process to bring private or public enterprises together to address disease related problems in the developing world

Have same understanding of R&D

Mechanisms for facilitating partnerships



Implementation Strategies:


Capacity building and training

Pan-African training centre for health scientists

Innovation to support research institutions in developing countries in a sustainable manner

Develop capacity in transitional countries to do pharmaceutical discovery at low cost, especially in tropical diseases


Funding mechanisms

Global Fund ATM should also fund R&D (for outcome oriented research)

Other sources?

Developing country commitments to R&D will assure more effective partnerships

Ensure equal contribution from partners

Create R&D Trust Fund


Networking, Communication and links

Organise a forum to encourage private-public partnerships with specific financial resources and specific time bound goals

Establish links / collaboration between pharmaceutical companies and research institutions in endemic countries


Partners and stakeholders

Universities in developing countries have large potential. They should participate in research partnerships

Community involvement in partnerships


Guidelines for partnerships

Advocate and lobby for guidelines for partnerships

Develop / adopt internationally recognized standards for partnership in research

Broaden the scope of partnerships to include Health Promotion and Health Systems research

Ensure accountability

Ensure long term partnerships


Celebrate best practices

Create a well-reputed prize for excellence in partnership

Make [public] negative examples of non-respect of partnerships

Award for "Utilization of Research to the Benefit of the People"

Adopt or develop a website on good practices of partnerships in health research

Review existing North-South, South-South partnerships to identify best practices


Policies and Focus, directions

Build business entities based on successful models for neglected diseases and high incidence disorders

All Environmental Impact Assessments should include Health Impact Assessment (Partnerships should take a leading role in HIA)



Action Plan 1: "Meeting with Industry Representatives, North and South Governments and NGO representatives to come up with pilot idea"


Existing initiatives (Novartis Singapore Institute)

Projects in Ghana and Tanzania

Contacts in India, Brazil and WHO


Lack of data to support business model

Lack required funding

Don't know which government would want to be champion

Actions to be taken:

Initiatives to build drug discovery in Transitional countries (i.e. India, Brazil, etc.)

To build / utilize clinical development and outcome research capacity in developing countries in order to:

Enable development of treatments for tropical diseases

Reduce drug development costs (R&D costs)

Sell interesting compounds to multi-nationals at later stage (Intellectual Property protection necessary)

First thing to do to get started:

Find support at home (Novartis management)


"Capacity building for drug discovery in the South"



Action Plan 2: "Global Fund for R&D as an Incentive to Promote Entrepreneurship"


A Global Trust Fund for Research and Development of Drugs and Vaccines for Neglected Diseases and High Incidence Disorders in the Developing World. The fund provides incentives for interaction between North-South entrepreneurs (both profit and non-profit).  The entrepreneurial groups thus funded are expected to grow into self-supporting units with products for healthcare in countries at affordable prices.  They create trust and confidence among the partners.


Independent fund free of political, governmental and economic influence

A potential for building trust amongst N-S partners


Organizational limitations


First thing to do to get started:

Create a R&D Trust Fund, which is independent and professionally managed.  The trustees shall be distinguished individuals from across the world.


"Partners for Progress in Health Research and Sustainable Development"


Action Plan 3: "Global Fund ATM (AIDS, Tuberculosis, Malaria) should fund R&D in tropical diseases"


Talent available in universities

Pharmaceutical companies

Public R&D institutions have capacity and manpower

MMV has expertise in R&D in Malaria

Intellectual property can create wealth in all countries including developing countries / LDC


Universities have little interaction with industry

Pharmaceutical companies not working on R&D for diseases of developing countries

No direction in public R&D institutions

Lack of awareness in several countries on intellectual property rights

Actions to be taken

Encourage developing countries to contribute to R&D (in modest volumes)

Identify specific areas of healthcare in each country where partnerships could be most effective

The first thing to do to get started:

Get US support for the idea of partnership in health research


"Join Hands for Better Health", "Discover, Develop, Deliver"


Action Plan 4: "Internationally Accepted Codes of Conduct in Research Partnerships"


Models exist, not just in health sector

Awareness of its problems is widespread

Increasing southern demand for more equitable research partnerships


Contrary to attitude and practices of the past (.... and today)

Major efforts in capacity building are necessary

Having guidelines does not solve the underlying problems

Actions to be taken:

Create inventory of existing guidelines and standards

Present good practices

Develop standards

Have standards approved by a international body

Disseminate standards and promote/ advocate them

First thing to do to get started:

....somebody has to take the initiative


"Research partnership can be the first step to global partnership!"


Action plan 5: "Identify best practices in Research Partnerships"


Growing interest in partnership


The topic is very sensitive to some organizations

Actions to be taken:






Review existing partnership initiatives


South countries


Donor agencies


Identify best practices based on existing or new guidelines



Promotion of best practices



First thing to do to get started

Identify institutions


"Best practice for Research Partnership"


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