Under this Call, Unitaid is soliciting proposals for the following interventions aimed at accelerating the adoption and scale-up of innovations to reduce maternal mortality from PPH:
Catalyze early adoption of new and recently recommended drugs for PPH in high-burden countries
Unitaid is soliciting proposals to accelerate the introduction of drugs for PPH that have recently become available (e.g. heat-stable carbetocin) and/or have recently been recommended for PPH (e.g. tranexamic acid, community delivery of misoprostol). Projects should address key barriers that span across policy adoption and dissemination, procurement and supply, and service delivery. In particular, proposals should include a strong focus on demand generation for policy-makers, providers and patients, and should demonstrate close engagement with community and civil society organizations. These projects should also include implementation pilots that demonstrate the impact, cost-effectiveness and operational feasibility of delivery at scale as a means of supporting onwards scale-up. Activities could also include support for new drugs through early adoption stage-gates, such as country registration, or through studies to validate appropriate packaging, delivery, and training strategies. To maximize impact, implementation models should include delivery at the lowest-level health facilities where use is recommended, and should be transferrable to other high-burden PPH settings to enable scale-up potential in non-project countries.
New and newly recommended PPH drugs will need to be adopted as part of an integrated package of PPH care. Proposals should therefore clearly indicate how the proposed activities will integrate with existing programmes and planned efforts to support a holistic approach to PPH care. While the core focus of proposals should be on positioning new and recently recommended drugs for scale-up, Unitaid will also consider limited ancillary efforts that support increased access to other PPH tools provided there is a clear pathway to scale and commitment from local stakeholders. For example, this could include innovative approaches that address quality issues in currently available drugs (e.g. affordable, low-tech tools to identify low-quality PPH drugs, such as paper-based tests and integrated time temperature indicators).
Proposals should demonstrate how proposed projects will leverage and synergize with other initiatives that are implementing new PPH prevention and treatment approaches. Pilot activities should also demonstrate close engagement with national programmes and other national and regional partners to ensure an enabling environment for sustainability and ownership beyond the life of the project. Emphasis should be placed on translating the outputs of the pilots into activities that will support transition and broader scale-up in project countries and beyond. This should not be limited to the final stages of the project but should aim to ensure strong national commitment to product adoption and meaningful community engagement from the onset. As part of the broader sustainability objective, opportunities for co-funding of pilot implementation activities should be actively explored.
Late-stage development of new drug formulations and/or drug delivery methods
This Call is also soliciting proposals to accelerate the development of new drug formulations and/or drug delivery methods for the prevention and treatment of PPH. Proposed products should aim to address the key limitations of currently available PPH drugs, such as injectable administration. New products should be suited to delivery at low levels of the health system, ideally at community level.
Support for late-stage development can include larger clinical efficacy studies, safety and cost effectiveness studies, and/or comparative studies with clinical standards-of-care. It can also include the development of a commercialization plan considering market size, market sustainability, product prices, and potential use cases; as well as an analysis of demand- and supply-side barriers to introduction (e.g. health worker acceptability assessments), and regulatory and distribution pathways.
Proponents should clearly describe the advantages of the proposed product and its current stage of development; study results to date; future development plans; regulatory pathway; commercialization and manufacturing strategies; and plans to ensure broad access in LMICs.
Applicants are encouraged to consider products that can be introduced in the market within three to five years (i.e. products that could be eligible for purchase by major funders and countries, and supply capacity created to address demand sufficiently within this timeframe), and Unitaid expects that new products should have the potential to be scalable for broad accessibility in LMICs.
Applicants can submit proposals for one or both of the intervention areas outlined above.
Topics which are out of scope for this Call include: basic and early-stage research, development of new chemical entities, single-country interventions and small-scale research studies.
Process for proposal submissionWhen developing a proposal, please note the following resources:
- Answers to frequently asked questions relevant to proposal development (this document is regularly updated) click here
Proposals should clearly demonstrate the use of innovative and sustainable approaches to accelerating uptake of drugs for PPH. Applicants should be clear about the underlying assumptions made in their proposed approach and should highlight any major risks or other factors that may affect the delivery of results. Finally, proposals are expected to outline a lean, concrete and clear pathway to results and impact.
After assessment of the proposals and endorsement by the Unitaid Board all applicants will be officially notified as to whether they will be invited to develop a full grant agreement for Unitaid funding.
Successful applicants should plan to be available for a kick-off meeting with Unitaid (in Geneva, if possible) in early Q3 2021 (exact date TBC). In addition, successful applicants should plan to have sufficient human resources available to advance a first draft of the project plan by Q3 2021.
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