Updated on 4 June 2015
The Global Health Innovative Technology Fund (GHIT Fund) has welcomed partnerships with the UK's largest charitable foundation and four major global companies-collaborations that will expand continued funding for research and development (R&D) of new tools to tackle infectious diseases that devastate the world's poorest people.
The collaboration includes two new funding partners, the Wellcome Trust and Sysmex Corporation, which will join existing funders that include six Japanese pharmaceutical companies, the Japanese Government and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Also included are three corporate partnerships with Japan's biggest airline ANA, law firm Morrison & Foerster LLP, and Yahoo! Japan, which will serve as sponsors of GHIT and its work.
The GHIT Fund has invested approximately ¥4.3 billion in 39 portfolio investments within the last two years in promising R&D projects, making it a significant market force in a chronically underfunded field, said Slingsby. GHIT has leveraged this ¥4.3 billion with ¥2.9 billion in co-investments culminating in a total leveraged portfolio of ¥7.2 billion. GHIT's newest action is expanding its technology scope to include diagnostic tests and its disease portfolio to include leishmaniasis.
Diseases against which GHIT Fund is supporting development of new tools are malaria, tuberculosis and neglected tropical diseases. For example, GHIT has a robust anti-malaria portfolio with over 14 investments in both new drugs and vaccines of over ¥1.2 billion in value. For schistosomiasis, the second most important parasitic infection after malaria in terms of public health and economic impact, the GHIT pipeline is one of the most robust in the world with a new pediatric drug formulation and a diagnostic test.
UK-based Wellcome Trust is the largest charitable foundation in the UK and a global leader in the funding of innovative biomedical research. Wellcome Trust will become a key GHIT Fund partner with a grant of¥554,234,700 through January 2017.
GHIT Fund also announced that the Kobe, Japan-based Sysmex Corporation will become a key GHIT Fund partner, alongside six existing Japanese pharmaceutical companies, with a donation over the next three years. Among the resources provided by Sysmex is in vitro diagnostics expertise.