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Remedi proposal designated Top 100 in 100&Change competition

Remedi proposal designated Top 100 in 100&Change competition

A proposal for an international research project involving the Aurum Institute has been shortlisted for a $100 million grant.

The proposal by the Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) was one of the highest scoring, placing it in the Top 100 for the John D and Catherine T MacArthur Foundation’s 100&Change grant. The proposal is for the Remedi project, which aims to improve global health by Repurposing Essential Medicines Internationally (Remedi).

The project team includes VUMC, the Aurum Institute, the University of Edinburgh’s Global Health Governance Program, which works with governments and other organisations to translate ideas into action and Cures Within Reach, a Chicago-based drug repurposing non-profit organisation. 

Aurum’s Group CEO Professor Gavin Churchyard is Remedi’s Chief Strategy Officer. Group COO Dr Dave Clark is the the Global Operations Officer for the project.  Aurum’s Chief Science Officer Professor Robert Wallis is the Co-director and Medical Officer for Remedi. The MD for Implementation Research at Aurum, Professor Geoffrey Setswe is the project’s Implementation Science Lead.

Remedi will uncover new uses for existing drugs on the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Essential Medicines List (EML), in ways that can dramatically improve access by billions of people in low and middle-income countries around the world. It will catalyse the global reach of the list by enhancing its format, accessibility, and health worker awareness. One hundred essential medicines are already on pharmacy shelves in more than 80% of the world’s countries, yet these medicines are prescribed for only 200 out of 7000 known human diseases. Aurum’s community-based sites and active partnerships throughout Africa, India and South America will validate new uses for vulnerable and marginalised populations. The project will make better use of what we have. It will systematically curate, validate, share, and locally implement existing and new therapeutic uses, prioritising the most prevalent medicines for diseases with the highest current and projected future burden, affecting the most vulnerable and marginalised. Hundreds of millions of people will benefit from medicines already in local hospitals and pharmacies.  

“It’s an honour for the Remedi team to have made it to the Top 100, and we believe this confirms the promise of generic drug repurposing to efficient and widespread human health impact,” said Dr Gordon Bernard, Executive Vice President for Research for VUMC. The grant is awarded to a project which helps solve the world's most critical social challengesIt was established in 2016 to stimulate philanthropic support for proposals that promise “real progress toward solving a critical problem of our time in any field or any location” and is a distinctive competition that is open to organizations and collaborations working in any field, anywhere in the world. Proposals must identify a single problem and offer a viable, pragmatic solution that promises significant or durable change. The winning proposal will be announced later this year.

 Watch how Remedi plans to expand the reach and utility of the Essential Medicines List.