The London Declaration on Neglected Tropical Diseases was a 2012 agreement between World Health Organization officials, government representatives and leading pharmaceutical companies to eradicate or control ten neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) by 2020. Yesterday, in a House of Lords debate focused on NTDs, Lord Alexander Trees asked the UK Government what assessment they have made of progress following the 2017 publication of the Fifth Progress Report on the Declaration.
As part of the debate, Baroness Shaista Sheehan, the Liberal Democrats Lords Spokesperson for International Development, quoted the BSI’s recent policy briefing on NTDs in saying that although there had been significant progress with some diseases, “the British Society for Immunology quite rightly draws our attention to the importance of immunological research in developing new drugs, vaccines and diagnostics for NTDs. However, [the policy briefing] goes on to say that, since the London declaration was signed, research progress has been slow”. She also echoed the BSI’s opinion that if collaborative efforts between industry and research, such as the UK Vaccine Network, were replicated for NTDs, this would speed up the development of diagnostics and vaccines for these diseases.