TB diagnostics initiative launched

Gates' $30 million for tuberculosis diagnostics causes controversy

Robert Walgate(walgate@scienceanalysed.com)
Jun 2, 2003

A new, independent, nonprofit initiative to create cheap and simple diagnostics for tuberculosis (TB)—and eventually other diseases—in collaboration with academia and industry was launched last month by the Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases (TDR) and by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which has donated $30 million for the first 5 years of the project.

The Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND) will seek to replace the cumbersome sputum test for TB with faster, more practical tests. The sputum test is impractical for rural settings in the developing world, as it requires both microscopy and electric power to refrigerate and shake reagents.

FIND will be directed by Giorgio Roscigno, the founding director of the Global Alliance for TB Drug Development. Carlos Morel, TDR's director, told The Scientist that he was "delighted" by the creation of FIND, which followed the same route, he said, as...

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