The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation released $21 million to the Human Hookworm Vaccine Initiative, a project that hopes to develop a substance that would provide immunity against an anemia-causing parasite. The money will fund human trials undertaken by the partnership between George Washington University and the Sabin Vaccine Institute. According to David Brandling-Bennett, an official at the Gates Foundation, "hookworm is an example of a disease for which a relatively modest investment in research and development could, and we expect will, affect tens of millions of lives." The World Health Organization estimated that around 740 million people worldwide currently carry the parasite, which not only causes anemia but also death of mothers during childbirth in developing countries.
Source: Bill Gates foundation funds hookworm vaccine effort (Reuters)