Funding Crunch Hits Neglected Diseases Plan

Staff Writer | SciDev.Net | April 29, 2014

The Open Source Drug Discovery (OSDD) programme — a global collaborative initiative supported by the Indian government to find affordable treatment for neglected tropical diseases — has suffered a temporary setback due to a funds crunch caused by tardy submission of funding estimates.

OSDD was launched in Delhi in 2008 and its partners include Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative, the TB Alliance and Medicines for Malaria. The programme covers drugs discovery and their trials to combat TB, malaria and leishmaniasis.

Funding for the programme, estimated to cost US$ 100 million for five years starting 2013, could not be cleared by the cabinet of ministers before the end of the financial year on 31 March 2014, says an official of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), who asked not to be named.