Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Fewer Dollars, but More Targets: Recent Trends in NIH Funding for Vaccine Trials Research

Matthew M. Davis1, Angela Pok1, Margaret S. Coleman2, Acham Gebremariam1, Dianne C. Singer1, Jack RC Wheeler1, and Gary L Freed1. (1) Division of General Pediatrics, University of Michigan, 300 North Ingalls, Room 6E06, Campus Box 0456, Ann Arbor, MI, USA, (2) NIP/HSREB, CDC, 1600 Clifton Road, NE, MS-E52, Atlanta, GA, USA

Learning Objectives for this Presentation:
By the end of the presentation participants will be able to describe recent trends in funding for vaccine trials research by the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

As the major source of federal funding for biologic pharmaceutical research and development, the NIH influences the development of new vaccine entities through its extramural funding of clinical trials research. However, little is known about the targets of NIH funding for vaccine trials research, or about trends in the level of funding over the past decade.

To identify vaccine trials projects funded through the NIH extramural research programs, and to calculate the amount of support dedicated to vaccine trials by the NIH each year for the period 1997-2006.

Using the NIH CRISP database, the investigators identified extramural projects involving vaccine-based clinical trials in Phases I, II, or III, and classified the organism or disease against which each vaccine was directed. Using unique project identification numbers, the investigators then used NIH funding data to ascertain funding amounts for each project. All funding amounts were inflation-adjusted to US$ 2007, using the Consumer Price Index.

Extramural NIH funding for vaccine trials research increased from $132.9 million in 1997 to a peak of $383.2 million in 2002, and subsequently decreased to $193.3 million by 2006. Projects involving clinical trials of vaccines against cancer and human immunodeficiency virus dominated NIH funding throughout the study period. Nonetheless, funding for trials of vaccines against other diseases increased proportionally over this period, from 17% of total funding in 1997 to 31% by 2006.

The level of extramural NIH funding for vaccine trials research has recently declined to about one-half of its peak, but has been accompanied by a broadening of disease focus in the extramural funding portfolio.