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Bill Gates pledges US$258 million to fight malaria

November 1st, 2005 by Patrick S

Microsoft founder Bill Gates (bloody legend) has pledged US$258.3 million for research and development to combat malaria, including new cash to test the world’s first vaccine against the mosquito-borne disease.

Gates, who is providing three grants via the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, said it was a “disgrace” that the world had allowed malaria deaths to double in the last 20 years, when so much could be done to prevent the disease.

Malaria kills 2000 African children every day.

The largest of the grants, US$107.6 million, will go to a vaccine initiative working with GlaxoSmithKline Plc on late-stage clinical trials of its experimental vaccine, Mosquirix.

The vaccine has already produced promising results in clinical trials but will not be available until after 2010.

Another US$100 million will be ploughed into work to accelerate the development of several promising new drugs, while US$50.7 million will pay for research to fast-track development of improved insecticides and other mosquito control methods.

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