• President Dilma Rousseff announced the support on March 23, together with the president of the BNDES, and the ministers of Health, Science and Technology, and Education
• Of the total, some R$ 350 million will finance private health companies and the remaining R$ 150 million is a non-reimbursable allocation for public institutions
The Brazilian Development Bank (BNDES) will provide R$ 500 million for efforts related to preventing, combating and diagnosing disease related to the Aedes Aegypti mosquito.
The financing was announced on March 23, in Brasília, during a ceremony held at the Palácio do Planalto, with President Dilma Rousseff presiding. Also at the event were the Minister of Health, Mr. Marcelo Castro; the Minister of Science and Technology, Mr. Celso Pansera; the Minister of Education, Mr. Aloizio Mercadante; and the president of the BNDES, Mr. Luciano Coutinho.
Of the total resources, the BNDES will initially make R$ 350 million available for credit loans to the private sector, which industrial health companies may request to develop, produce and commercialize technology to combat disease transmitted by the mosquito (zika, dengue and chikingunya). Financing will be accessible via the Bank’s traditional lines of credit, including the BNDES’ Support Program to Develop the Industrial Health Sector (BNDES Profarma).
The remaining resources, totaling R$ 150 million, are non-reimbursable and available through the Technological Fund (BNDES Funtec). They are being applied by Brazilian public institutions in two initiatives. The first is to develop a vaccine for dengue, which is being run by the Butantan Institute. For this, the BNDES has provided R$ 100 million in non-reimbursable resources for the next two years. A part of this amount is already being processed for disbursement, namely, financing for phase II clinical trials, which includes testing vaccines on humans.
The BNDES will also apply R$ 50 million in non-reimbursable financing to support an action plan put together by Fiocruz against zika. The plan includes resources to develop serological and molecular tests not only to diagnose the disease, but also to conduct clinical research, to develop models for combating the mosquito, as well as supporting research on medication and a vaccine for the disease.
All resources will be made available by the government via reimbursable and non-reimbursable credit through the BNDES and Finep, and the budgetary resources for the ministries of Health, and Science and Technology is close to R$ 1.2 billion. The BNDES is able to increase the amount available for the efforts underway and to support new initiatives, in accordance with the demand from companies and public entities.