Bill Gates is giving $12 million to fund research for a universal flu vaccine. He made the announcement at the annual meeting for the Massachusetts Society of Medicine in Boston on Friday.
$12 million Funding For Universal Flu Vaccine
The billionaire said that the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is collaborating with Alphabet CEO Larry Page and his wife, Lucy Page, for research on the vaccine.
The Gates Foundation is already working on the development of a universal flu vaccine in partnership with other organizations, including the nonprofit PATH, GlaxoSmithKline, and the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. The efforts have not yet yielded a breakthrough but some clinical trials are anticipated to start soon.
"Scientific advances and growing interest on the federal level, in the private sector, and among philanthropic funders makes development of a universal flu vaccine more feasible now than 10 or 20 years ago," Gates said.
"Today we are launching a $12 million Grand Challenge in partnership with the Page family to accelerate the development of a universal flu vaccine."
Improving Health And Saving Lives
The Harvard dropout who started Microsoft and is now one of the world's richest men, spends his time and money to improve health, and save lives. One of his efforts is focused on fighting mosquito-borne diseases.
Since 2009, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has made significant progress in fighting malaria. The foundation has provided millions of dollars in funding to develop vaccine for the disease that kills thousands of children in Africa every day.
Gates revealed in a 2016 blog post the impact of their philanthropic efforts. Citing a report published in The New England Journal of Medicine, Gates said that the death rate of malaria in sub-Saharan Africa dropped by 57 percent since 2000.
"Cutting the death rate by more than half is a miracle. It's one of the greatest success stories in the history of global health," Gates wrote.
Last year, Gates embarked on a new mission that can potentially make significant impact on many lives: to find a treatment for Alzheimer's disease, a degenerative condition that currently has no known cure.
He has provided $50 million to the Dementia Discovery Fund to help fund research that could eventually pave way for the elusive cure for the neurological condition that afflicts many older members of the population. The billionaire also had plans to invest another $50 million in startups involved in Alzheimer's research.