Since its establishment in 2003, the European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP) has addressed a double challenge. First, a lack of resources for conducting clinical research in the countries most touched by poverty-related diseases (PRD) – malaria, HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis. Second, persistent fragmentation of European research efforts related to PRD.
The EDCTP aims to scale up the fight against PRD by financing and coordinating research undertaken by Europeans in partnership with developing sub-Saharan countries. Its main focus is on clinical trials of new medicines. The first phase 2003-2015 is coming to an end with stakeholders overall evaluating it as successful. A proposal for a second phase, EDCTP II, is due to be submitted to the EP and Council in coming months.
EDCTP II will retain much of the core mission, while taking into account lessons learnt from the first phase. The new programme, according to the proposal currently in preparation, would keep the same geographical focus, but cover more diseases. It would have a larger budget, and improved management. Among the key challenges will be to involve new EU Member States in the next stage, and to optimise funding methods.