Bill Gates announced Friday that he will donate $12 million to fund research for a universal flu vaccine.
Gates announced the creation of a research fund while speaking at the Massachusetts Medical Society's annual meeting.
“Today we are launching a $12 million Grand Challenge in partnership with the Page family to accelerate the development of a universal flu vaccine,” he said in his remarks. “The goal is to encourage bold thinking by the world’s best scientists across disciplines, including those new to the field.”
He warned in his speech of an impending pandemic, saying that the world has not made much progress in preparation, particularly in impoverished countries.
“If history has taught us anything, it’s that there will be another deadly global pandemic,” Gates said. “We can’t predict when. But given the continual emergence of new pathogens, the increasing risk of a bioterror attack, and how connected our world is through air travel, there is a significant probability of a large and lethal, modern-day pandemic occurring in our lifetimes."
He also noted that the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is involved in several research partnerships to develop a vaccine, which are either currently in or soon advancing to human trials.
The announcement comes after a particularly dangerous flu season that affected millions of Americans.