Bill & Melinda Gates Medical Research Institute (Gates MRI) is a non-profit biotech company with a funding of $273 million for its first four years. It will be co-located in Seattle and Boston. Their mission is to develop products to fight three major infectious diseases that “cause mortality, poverty, and inequality in developing countries.” Gates MRI is going to focus on “translational medicine: advancing novel drug and vaccine candidates from the laboratory to human studies.”
- Malaria is caused by a bite of an infected female Anopheles mosquito. It can cause severe flu-like symptoms and can result in death, if not treated properly. In 2016 alone, an estimated 445,000 people died of malaria of which most where young children.
- Tuberculosis (TB) is caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Most infected people do not exhibit any symptoms of the disease and are said to have latent TB. Only individuals with active TB can infect other people. World Health Organization estimated that in 2016, of the 10 million people infected with active TB, about 1.3 million died.
- Diarrheal disease kills 2,195 children every single day, more than AIDS and malaria combined. Today, diarrhea remains the second leading cause of death for children under the age of 5. It is important to remember that the diarrheal diseases can be avoided with simple prevention methods and is also treatable.
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is the founder and primary funder of Gates MRI. This is said to be the largest private foundation in the United States. The foundation’s primary aims are to, globally, to enhance healthcare and reduce extreme poverty, and the US, to expand educational opportunities and access to information technology.