New Successes in Global Health

with Ken Stuart, CEO, Seattle Biomed; Hugh Chang, Director of Special Initiatives, Office of the President, PATH; and John Tedstrom, President and CEO, Global Business Coalition on HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria; hosted by Chris Gorey, VP of Sales, Regence BlueShield

Ken Stuart:
Diseases occurring in other parts of the world (HIV, TB, malaria, etc) are affecting us both directly and indirectly, through economies of our business partners.

We have seen dramatic changes in scale of markets in other coutries, particularly SE Asia. Pharmaceuticals are not working directly on these, therefore Seattle Biomed has an important niche.

Developed a genetically modified parasite that protect mice from malaria.

TB: investigating how organism survives in the lungs of infected people. Demonstrated that the bacterium is reproducing at a slow rate, not dormant as though. Identifying essential genes that the bacteria needs to survive and using those genes to find cure.

John Tedstrom:
Q. Where are the big business wins in global health and what resources do we need?
A: Already reduced malaria deaths in some countries by over 50%, by creating partnerships between public and private sectors. Now able to treat more people for TB and keep them living.
Jump from 50,000 to 5 million in people with access to HIV/AIDS treatment.
“Womans health is the #1 inequity in the entire global health space. We know that investing in women pays tremendous dividends and if we can move women from a position fo being subservient to a position of empowerment, we will have moved the human race forward intensively”
HIV: Were making progress, but losing at a slower rate. For every person that receives treatment, 5 more become infected.
Coca cola sells safe sex. They can sell anything. They were hiring 2 people for every open position, because they knew that one would get sick and die. Invested millions of dollars in education and now they only recruit 1 person for every vacancy. Once technology allows African development to leapfrog it will be a huge source of growth.

Hugh Chang:
Path is a catalyst for global health, bringing together research, efforts of Global Business Coalition, etc.

In Zambia, Path has instituted a nation-wide program to deliver preventative measures to avoid malaria, by cooperating with a range of public-private entities.

Path’s success with reducing malaria has led to opportunities in diagnostics to test for other causes of fever, besides malaria. Needs to be quick (patients often can’t return for follow-up), needs to be easy to administer and diagnose. These kinds of technologies could also largely benefit US healthcare, in terms of cost reductions.

Meningitis vaccine on the cusp of release. By the end of this year, they will have vaccinated 50,000 people in traditional “meningitis belt”. Business opportunities in global health are reflective of cost constraints within the developing world, but there’s great potential to turn them around and bring them back to the developed world.

John Tedstrom: Public health is being held up by divergent approach to diseases in Africa. Bed nets, malaria vaccines, TB clinics are miles apart from one another and patients dont’ have transportation. Using personal devices to make medicine more holistic.

Q: Why isn’t the issue of safe drinking water being addressed in this session?

A: Hugh Chang: diarrheal diseases are the largest sources of child mortality. Path has efforts to create drinking water containers and technology, purification packets.

Q: Roger Nyhus: How important is this to Seattle as a center of global health?

A: Ken Stuart: affects jobs available in Seattle, Seattle has assumed a leadership position. John:Seattle is incredibly important. Global health has huge implications for other related industries. GBC is working to make this a hub in order to move forward even further with the business industry.