The European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP) was created in 2003 as a European response to the global health crisis caused by the three main poverty-related diseases of HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. These three diseases still account for over 3.5 million deaths each year, with greatest burden of disease in sub-Saharan Africa, where besides ravaging lives, they impede development and cause poverty.
EDCTP aims to accelerate the development of new or improved drugs, vaccines, microbicides and diagnostics against HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, with a focus on phase II and III clinical trials in sub-Saharan Africa.
EDCTP supports multicentre projects that combine clinical trials, capacity building and networking. The aim of integrating these three activities is to ensure that the developed capacity is optimally utilised to successfully conduct the clinical trials in a sustainable way.
The basis of EDCTP is partnership. It currently unites 14 participating European Union (EU) Member States plus Norway and Switzerland with sub-Saharan African countries. The partnership helps EU Member States to integrate and coordinate their own national research and development programmes and form partnerships with their African counterparts. All EDCTP-funded projects are undertaken in partnership with sub-Saharan countries. The partnership ensures synergy and optimal use of resources, and creates a win-win situation for all parties involved.
EDCTP was formed by a European Parliament and European Council decision in order to pool resources, funding and activities to achieve a greater impact against the three poverty-related diseases. It combined political will and defined health priorities of both the developing and developed world.