15 December 2023 | News

Unitaid to support access to monoclonal antibodies in low- and middle-income countries with new call for proposals

The deadline for proposal submission is 1 March 2024.

Monoclonal antibodies are manufactured versions of proteins that mimic those generated by the immune system to defend ourselves from diseases. They can be developed to treat or prevent a range of diseases and are already transforming modern medicine in high income countries. With their potential to provide faster, more tolerable and highly efficacious protection, they also hold great promise for addressing public health needs in low- and middle-income countries – but there is a stark global inequity in access to these products.

Very high prices, insufficient production capacity and limited visibility on demand and users’ perspectives are amongst the key barriers that limit the use of monoclonal antibodies in low- and middle-income countries. This perpetuates the lack of interest in infectious disease markets and does not incentivize innovation to simplify and reduce the cost of production and delivery.

Unitaid seeks to support efforts to demonstrate the feasibility and viability of business models that could reduce the cost of production and delivery and enable sufficient production capacity of monoclonal antibodies, to render the most promising products – including those already approved or in the development pipeline – accessible in LMICs.

The ultimate goal is to establish models for widespread and equitable access to monoclonal antibodies so they can deliver the greatest impact as they emerge from the pipeline, to complement other tools and improve the global health response to major public health needs in low- and middle-income countries.

Read more about this latest call for proposals and how to apply here.

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