Gates Foundation donates $12M to universal flu vaccine research

Up to eight research teams will receive about $12 million in funding to research a universal flu vaccine, thanks to grants from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the philanthropic organization Flu Lab, STAT reported.

The Gates Foundation and Flu Lab announced the awards Aug. 29 in Singapore at Options for the Control of Influenza, the largest scientific conference on the flu. The maximum grant will total $2 million over two years. Six of the grants have been signed and others remain to be finalized. 

The announcement comes a year after the Gates Foundation originally intended to release the funding. Bill Gates announced the funding opportunity in late April 2018, and applicants were supposed to prove they could start testing their vaccine in humans by 2021. 

"It became quite clear, looking at what we received, that this was too optimistic," said Keith Klugman, director of the Gates Foundation's pneumonia program. The foundation revised its approach and partnered with Flu Lab to provide the funds.

To read more about the grantees, click here.

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