Gates Foundation goes after TB

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, based in Seattle, has announced $280 million in grants to fight a growing tuberculosis problem.

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer said the disease infects one of every three people on Earth, killing 2 million people a year. It is becoming increasingly resistant to drugs.

The foundation, which awarded grants to almost a dozen organizations, gave $7.4 million to Seattle Biomedical Research Institute to dig deeper into the basic biology of the bacteria.

The largest share of the money -- $200 million -- will go to Aeras Global TB Vaccine Foundation of Rockville, Md., to develop new TB vaccines. The money will allow the company to take six experimental vaccines into early-stage clinical testing, the newspaper said Wednesday.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

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