Diagnostic drive combats killer diseases

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Posted by Sadie from D006067.N1.Vanderbilt.Edu ( on Thursday, May 29, 2003 at 8:50PM :

Nature 423, 472 (29 May, 2003)

News in Brief
Diagnostic drive aims to combat killer diseases

[GENEVA] The World Health Organization (WHO) and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation have joined forces to set up a new organization to promote the search for cheap, easy-to-use diagnostic tests for infectious diseases, particularly in the developing world.

The Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND) will support companies and academic institutes in creating and validating new diagnostic methods that use simple methodologies, such as dipsticks, rather than sophisticated equipment.

FIND has an initial budget of $30 million for the next five years, and will call for proposals for tuberculosis tests in the coming weeks. "Tuberculosis is a major killer" in the developing world, says Charles Morel, director of the WHO's tropical-medicines programme. "Yet we are relying on very old-fashioned and inefficient diagnostic methodologies with which local medical support cannot cope."

-- Sadie
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