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Bill Gates Aids in Drug Research

December 18, 2000

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) _ A foundation created by Bill Gates is donating $15.1 million to help develop new drugs against two parasitic diseases plaguing millions of people in developing nations.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s five-year grant will bring together experts to fight African trypanosomiasis, or sleeping sickness, and leishmaniasis.

The research consortium will be led by a University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill scientist. The donation was announced Monday.

African sleeping sickness is fatal unless treated. Up to 450,000 people in central Africa are infected. Leishmaniasis, spread by sand flies, causes lesions, disfigurement and death. About 12 million people worldwide have the disease.

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