MRC and GSK join forces to tackle non-communicable diseases in Africa
12 Sep 2014
Research into Africa’s growing problem of non-communicable diseases (NCDs), such as cancer and diabetes, has received a £2.5m boost from the MRC - part of a £5m collaboration with pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and the South African Medical Research Councils.
The funding will support researchers from South African institutions carrying out research projects in NCDs, which pose an increasing threat in Africa. More needs to be done to understand particular local variations of these diseases, and the funding will see UK scientists collaborate with researchers across Africa to look at the underlying epidemiology and genetics of NCDs as well as ways to treat and prevent them. The partnership will also aim to build local expertise, creating a new generation of African NCD experts.
The funding was pledged on 9 September by the UK Foreign Office Minister responsible for Africa, James Duddridge, and South Africa’s Minister for Science and Technology, Naledi Pandor, at an event in Cape Town as part of a broader research collaboration between the two countries.
The MRC funding was provided via the UK Newton Fund – a new government initiative intended to strengthen research and innovation partnerships between the UK and emerging knowledge economies. The South African Medical Research Council contributed around £1.5m with an additional £1m from GSK, together with access to the company’s internal R&D expertise.
The Newton Fund was launched by the Chancellor in April 2014, and will provide £375 million funding over the course of five years, including several calls and initiatives run by the MRC. Find out more at www.mrc.ac.uk/research/international/the-newton-fund