The European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP) was created in 2003 as a European response to the global health crisis caused by the three main poverty‐related diseases of HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. These three diseases still account for over 3.5 million deaths each year, with the greatest burden of disease in sub‐Saharan Africa, where apart from ravaging lives, they impede development and cause serious poverty.

The mission of EDCTP is to accelerate research and development of drugs, vaccines, microbicides and diagnostics against HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria and some neglected infectious diseases by supporting and conducting clinical trials using best practice. This includes adherence to ethics, good clinical practice, regulatory and other applicable guidelines. Paramount to this is the protection of safety, confidentiality and integrity of the research participants and their communities in accordance to international standards.

Recognisant of the fact that ethics and regulatory oversight may not be optimal globally, the EDCTP has made it a priority to strengthen ethics and regulatory framework in sub‐Saharan Africa. During the last decade, the EDCTP has spearheaded the strengthening of institutional review boards and national ethics committees in sub‐Saharan Africa through support for human resource development and infrastructural development towards making them both functional and independent. The EDCTP is well recognized as a neutral funding partner that has established confidence among the global funding community, African and European governments, as well ethics and regulatory bodies in Africa and Europe.