Alwaleed Philanthropies invests $5m in global fight for vaccines

Princess Lamia bint Majid Al-Saud
Updated 02 September 2019

Alwaleed Philanthropies invests $5m in global fight for vaccines

Alwaleed Philanthropies, chaired by Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, the global philanthropic foundation, has made a fresh commitment to preventing the spread of disease by investing a further $5 million in its partnership with Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. 

The commitment will provide extra funding between 2020 and 2024 to support organizations known by Gavi as “pacesetters” that are developing new innovations to improve vaccine access and delivery, particularly in urban areas. The foundation will make the investment through Gavi’s INFUSE initiative (Innovation for Uptake, Scale and Equity in Immunization), which identifies these “pacesetters,” provides funding and support for them, and connects them to authorities in countries that need vaccination support.

The grant is part of a range of efforts by Alwaleed Philanthropies to improve routine immunization and builds on the original $1 million investment made in 2015 to support vaccines in Timor Leste, Kiribati, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Moldova, Guyana for the 2016-2020 program.

Princess Lamia bint Majid Al-Saud, general-secretary of Alwaleed Philanthropies, announced the partnership at the 7th Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD7), hosted by the Japanese government in Yokohama on Aug. 30.

She said: “Alwaleed Philanthropies places huge importance on its partnership with the Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance — and specifically their INFUSE Initiative — to boost immunization in the world’s poorest countries. With the majority of the world’s population increasingly living in urban areas, and with more than 19.4 million children still under-immunized, we recognize that there has rarely been a more pressing need to support innovation in immunization.”

“Alwaleed Philanthropies has been a steadfast supporter of our mission to ensure no child goes without life-saving vaccines,” said Dr. Seth Berkley, CEO of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. “This new funding to INFUSE will help accelerate the introduction of innovations and technology that modernize vaccine delivery systems and ensure vaccines protect all children against deadly diseases. On behalf of Gavi, I’d like to offer my sincere thanks to Alwaleed Philanthropies and Princess Lamia bint Majid Al-Saud for their support.”


Clinical trials to accelerate adoption of new drug treatments in Saudi Arabia

Updated 27 May 2020

Clinical trials to accelerate adoption of new drug treatments in Saudi Arabia

  • Trials are being led locally as an essential means to verify the safety and effectiveness of a new drug
  • Eli Lilly has a major role to play during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic

RIYADH: Clinical trials in Saudi Arabia could speed up the adoption of new drugs locally, a pharmaceutical executive has told Arab News.

“Clinical trials have two very big benefits for the Kingdom. Firstly, they provide data in the long run with respect to safety and efficacy, catered specifically to the Saudi population. Secondly, they impact local investment and build healthcare capabilities,” Managing Director of Eli Lilly Dimitri Livadas said..

Lividas further explained that the clinical trial phase of any new treatment is crucial as it represents the stage between the adoption or rejection of a drug. Working with the Ministry of Health and with a presence in the Kingdom for 42 years, the pharmaceutical company began research trials in the country in 2016, consisting of five pre-marketing activities and three monitoring studies for post-marketing.

Lividas added that the trials are being led locally as an essential means to verify the safety and effectiveness of a new drug before it is put to the market and introduced to patients. The majority of these are focused on diabetes, oncology, immunology, and osteoporosis.

“We genuinely believe that our future is here in Saudi Arabia. We continue to make great progress in having a commercial organization in the Kingdom that is fully staffed by Saudi nationals,” said Lividas.

As a biopharmaceutical company, Eli Lilly has a major role to play during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. It recently announced partnership with AbCellera to develop a treatment for the virus and aims to enter into clinical trials this year.

“I salute the Saudi authorities for their strong measures to contain the spread of COVID-19. I think it is an example to the world on how to do this. I would like to also express my gratitude toward all healthcare professionals who are currently on the frontlines, risking their own health to help others," Lividas said.