Gates Foundation to Launch Nonprofit Medical Research Institute

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has announced that it intends to establish a nonprofit medical research institute to fight diseases that disproportionately affect the poor in low- and middle-income countries.

With the goal of accelerating progress in translational science, the institute initially will focus on enhancing the product pipeline for malaria, tuberculosis, and enteric and diarrheal diseases. To that end, it will work to advance new strategies designed to increase the identification, selection, and optimization of novel candidates for drugs, vaccines, diagnostics, and medical devices, while the foundation itself will work to transition potentially viable interventions to product development partners, developing country manufacturers, and others willing to move them into late-stage development.

Although details will not be available until later this year, the institute is expected to be co-located in the Seattle and Boston metro areas, with Penny Heaton, who currently leads the foundation's Vaccine Development and Surveillance Program, assuming a senior leadership role within the organization.