Estimates of public, nonprofit and foundation spending

Because there is a lack of basic, up-to-date information concerning spending on neglected disease drug R&D, the DND Working Group asked leading international experts on several neglected diseases to estimate the current level of investment in R&D: Leishmaniasis Dr. Farrokh Modabber, Director of the Infectious Disease Research Institute, Seattle, USA, estimates current research spending for leishmaniasis at US$20 million. Of the total, 15-20% is directly spent on drug development.9 Malaria Dr. Catherine Davies of Wellcome Trust estimates that funds committed by major funders to malaria research in 1999 were over US$150 million (excluding US Department of Defence and French sources, for which detailed figures were not available). The equivalent figure for 2000 is over $200 million.10 Dr. Rob Ridley of the Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV) says that, depending on how it is defined, drug discovery and development might constitute between 10-20% of the overall malaria research spending figure for 2000.11 Sleeping sickness Mr. Felix Kuzoe, an expert in African trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness) at the Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases (TDR) estimates total research spending at as little as US$20 million in 2000. Of this total approximately $4 million (20% of the total) is devoted to drug development thanks mainly to a donation from the Gates Foundation. In 2001, the total research spending will increase to $21 million due to a recent donation from Aventis Pharma. This will increase the proportion for drug development to 24% (about $5 million) in 2001.12 Tuberculosis Dr. Paul Nunn at TDR estimates research spending on tuberculosis by governments and private foundations during 2000 at US$143 million. Of this figure, only $37 million (27%) is devoted to drug development.13