Oswaldo Cruz Foundation, Virginia Bioinformatics Institute sign agreement...

Blacksburg, Va., USA and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, May 2, 2006, The Virginia Bioinformatics Institute (VBI) at Virginia Tech and the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (FIOCRUZ) today signed an agreement to accelerate the development of new health products and technologies. The initial three-year agreement is intended to facilitate the development of drugs, vaccines, diagnostics and other technologies that may reduce the global burden of infectious diseases. The collaboration includes innovative research and development initiatives targeting healthcare solutions for dengue fever, hepatitis C, HIV/AIDS, influenza, malaria, and pneumonia (Mycoplasma pneumoniae).

FIOCRUZ, which has expertise in biology, medicine, clinical treatment and the epidemiology of infectious diseases, has developed infrastructure for the prevention, treatment and detection of endemic infectious diseases. VBI has developed genomics, proteomics and bioinformatics tools and data that can be readily applied to the study of infectious diseases as well as the discovery of new vaccine, drug and diagnostic targets. The partnership will therefore combine the growing ability of FIOCRUZ to develop and introduce new healthcare products with the computational and infectious disease research capabilities of VBI. In addition, both parties will engage in scientific, technical and educational collaborations that will serve to advance efforts to reduce disparities in global health.

Dr. Bruno Sobral, executive and scientific director of VBI, remarked: "This agreement reflects a compelling need for new ways to tackle the global threat of infectious diseases. It also represents what we see as a highly innovative framework for new partnerships in the public health arena." He added: "By signing this agreement, we are creating an enabling environment that allows VBI's strengths in computational resources, high-performance computing, bioinformatics and infectious disease research to be combined with the clinical e

Contact: Barry Whyte
Virginia Tech

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