EU launches international research programme to fight AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis

At a conference organised by the Spanish Presidency in Barcelona on 19 April 2002, Commissioner Philippe Busquin launched the first phase of the “European-Developing Countries Clinical Trials Programme” (EDCTP). The programme aims to encourage research on HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis, in order to speed up the development and production of vaccines and drugs.

The European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA) welcomed this initiative to increase the effectiveness of Europe’s investment in clinical trials for poverty-related diseases.


The EDCTP is one of the pillars of the EU's action plan against poverty-related diseases, which includes a set of trade, development and research measures.

Fourteen EU countries and Norway will co-ordinate their national research efforts through a joint platform, in full partnership with the developing countries. The programme will also:

  • sponsor clinical trials in public-private partnerships across Africa;
  • enhance African countries' development and production capabilities;
  • identify the most promising vaccine and drug candidates and pool investments for their development at clinical level;
  • build capacities for clinical development of drugs and vaccines in the south of the world, through support for infrastructures, training, etc.;
  • sponsor clinical trials in Africa in public private partnerships with industry;

The Commission proposes to allocate € 200 million to the initiative over five years.

Commissioner Philippe Busquin commended the strong record of European research institutes in researching poverty-related diseases, and their long tradition of bilateral co-operation with developing countries.


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