08 Apr 2013, BioSpectrum Bureau , BioSpectrum
Singapore: Japan-based Eisai co-established the Global Health Innovative Technology Fund (GHIT Fund) to advance the R&D of new medicines, vaccines, and diagnostics from Japan to fight infectious diseases in emerging countries and the developing world. The GHIT Fund is the first public-private partnership in Japan dedicated to the field of global health. It is a partnership between Eisai, Shionogi, Merck, Astellas, Takeda, the Government of Japan and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
The GHIT Fund will facilitate global partnerships between Japanese and non-Japanese research and development organizations and fund promising research programs in order to realize advances in new health technologies by Japanese pharmaceutical companies, universities and research institutions possessing strengths in drug creation, with the aim of utilizing those technologies effectively in emerging countries and the developing world.
The company considers this commitment as a long-term investment in its future in an increasingly globalized era and as such consistently engages in initiatives focused on overcoming issues related to access to medicines in order to effectively combat infectious diseases, including neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). Eisai expects the establishment of the GHIT Fund to lead to further global public-private partnerships focused on the development of new drugs and contribute to global health through advances made in new health technologies in Japan.
Eisai is also a signatory to the London Declaration, which is the largest global public-private partnership to date and aims to eliminate ten NTDs by 2020. As part of its commitment under the declaration, Eisai has agreed to produce at its Vizag Plant in India 2.2 billion tablets of the lymphatic filariasis medicine diethylcarbamazine (DEC) and supply them to the World Health Organization (WHO) at price zero.
Furthermore, the company is moving ahead with new drug development projects targeting malaria and NTDs such as Chagas disease and leishmaniasis, based on partnerships with international non-profit organizations such as the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi ) and Sabin Vaccine Institute as well as Brazil's national research agency, the FundaÇão Oswaldo Cruz.