Brussels, 24 January 2013: Today, the European & Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP) and the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA) have signed a memorandum of understanding on a Clinical Research Fellowship scheme that will give sub-Saharan African researchers the possibility to be placed in a European-based pharmaceutical company for up to two years to develop skills in clinical trial research. Both organisations are cooperating with the Directorate-General for Research and Innovation of the European Commission to make the programme a success. The aim is to further promote research capacity for conducting clinical trials in Africa in accordance with the highest international standards.

Richard Bergström, the Director General of EFPIA said: “This is a great opportunity for all parties involved. EFPIA’s members will benefit from interaction with African scientists from diverse backgrounds beneficial to the development of new or improved treatments in poverty-related diseases. We hope to help them acquire skills relevant to achieving their research and professional goals”.

The Clinical Research Fellowships will be awarded through open calls for proposals published by EDCTP in coordination with pharmaceutical companies. Candidates will be selected by EDCTP. After completion of their training, fellows will return to their countries. Detailed information will be made available to interested companies in February 2013 and the first call for applications is expected in the last quarter of 2013.

Professor Charles Mgone, EDCTP Executive Director: “I am delighted with this agreement on our goal to collaborate closely in the second EDCTP programme for the development of treatments, vaccines and diagnostics for HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, and neglected infectious diseases. It is critical that more African researchers are sufficiently trained and equipped with skills and expertise in clinical trials research in the fight against diseases that severely impact the social and economic development of sub-Saharan Africa.”

EDCTP and EFPIA want to inform the global health community of their commitment to support capacity-building efforts in clinical research in sub-Saharan Africa through the EDCTP programme and look forward to a strong and committed relationship through the programme. Both organisations would also like to thank the European Commission and especially the DG Research and Innovation for their support in creating the Clinical Research Fellowship Scheme.

EDCTP-EFPIA Memorandum of Understanding 

 About EDCTP and EFPIA

The European & Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP), created in 2003 as a European response to the global health crisis caused by the three main poverty-related diseases (PRDs) of HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria is currently a partnership between 16 European countries, the European Union and sub-Saharan African countries. The aim of the programme is to accelerate the development of new or improved drugs, vaccines, microbicides, and diagnostics against HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria through a partnership of European national research programmes on PRDs with their African counterparts in collaboration with the pharmaceutical industry and like-minded organisations.

EFPIA represents the pharmaceutical industry operating in Europe. Through its direct membership of 33 national associations and 35 leading pharmaceutical companies, EFPIA provides the voice of 1,900 companies committed to researching, developing and bringing new medicines to improve health and quality of life around the world. The pharmaceutical industry invests 27.5 billion on research and development per year in Europe and directly employs 660,000 people including 116,000 in R&D units in Europe.

EFPIA members are committed to delivering innovative medicines to address unmet needs of patients and reducing the burden of chronic diseases for Europe’s ageing population. EFPIA believes in close cooperation with its stakeholders to help create sustainable healthcare systems and to develop prompt responses to health threats in Europe.

Media contacts

 EFPIA

EDCTP

Nicholas Elles

Communications Manager EFPIA

TEL: 0032.2.626.24.79

Email: communications@efpia.eu

Gert Onne van de Klashorst

Communications Officer EDCTP

TEL: 0031.6211.72.632

Email: klashorst@edctp.org