Gilead Foundation: Grants for Global Health

OVERVIEW: The Gilead Foundation focuses its international grantmaking on disease prevention efforts predominantly in Africa and South America.

IP TAKE: Gilead prioritizes giving its HIV, hepatitis, and visceral leishmaniasis medications, but also offers mid-sized grants. 

PROFILE: Established in 2005, the Gilead Foundation is the philanthropic arm of biopharmaceutical company Gilead Sciences. The overall aim of the foundation is "[t]o improve the health and well-being of underserved communities around the world," and supports projects in education, prevention, and outreach efforts related to HIV, hepatitis, and visceral leishmaniasis.

Also known as kala-azar, recurrent epidemics of visceral leishmaniasis occur in Ethiopia, Kenya, South Sudan and Sudan. The vast majority of cases (around 90 percent) occur in just six countries including Bangladesh, Brazil, Ethiopia, India, South Sudan and Sudan. If left untreated, the disease can have a fatality rate as high as 100 percent within two years of contraction. People infected with HIV are particularly vulnerable to leishmania-HIV co-infections since the parasitic disease accelerates HIV replication and hastens progression toward AIDS. Finally, visceral leishmaniasis is one of 10 neglected tropical diseases that NGOs and governments hope to control and completely eliminate by 2020. 

As part of its giving, the company offers its hepatitis B and C medications at a discount to resource-strapped countries. Gilead also works to expand its HIV/AIDS medication licensing agreements to generic drug manufacturers in India and China. According to the foundation, over 50 percent of HIV-positive people in developing countries receive Gilead Sciences' antiretroviral medicines.

Larger NGOs tend to receive grants of $250,000 and up, while most grants tend to range from $50,000 to $250,000.

The Gilead Foundation does not accept unsolicited proposals but it does have an online grant application portal for its U.S. Corporate grants program. These grants are restricted to U.S.-based organizations. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis and Gilead recommends that potential grantees submit their applications at least six weeks prior to the start of their projects. Sooner than six weeks may be better, though—the review process can take between six to 12 weeks. 


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