Replenished funding will allow Global Health Innovative Technology Fund
to advance potential novel products into late-stage clinical trials
and expand its ability to save lives around the world
TOKYO, JAPAN (May 20, 2016)—Today, the Government of Japan (GOJ) announced its policy ahead of the G7 Ise-Shima Summit that it will make a US$130 million contribution to the Global Health Innovative Technology Fund (GHIT Fund) /United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) replenishment, signaling Japan’s unwavering support for research and development (R&D) for malaria, tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS and neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) worldwide.
“We are tremendously appreciative of the Japanese government’s US$130 million contribution to the GHIT Fund/UNDP program, and applaud its ongoing and now renewed support of our work in product development,” said GHIT Fund CEO Dr. BT Slingsby. “Today’s announcement is a testament to Japanese leadership in our global community, and speaks loudly and clearly that for Japan, innovation in global health is an essential priority today, and for the future.”
Launched in 2013 as a public and private partnership, the GHIT Fund has built a robust portfolio of drugs, vaccines and diagnostics. The Fund is expanding: it has invested upwards of US$60 million in more than 60 global product development partnerships that leverage Japanese innovation and capacities in pharmaceuticals. In just three years, the GHIT Fund portfolio is expanding with six of its 23 novel screening programs advancing into next stage of development; two candidates successfully achieving first-in-human trials and an innovative antimalarial drug recently achieving Proof of Concept (Phase II). GHIT is on the ground, having already initiated seven clinical trials for novel candidates in high-burden countries.
The GOJ announcement today will not only allow this innovative work to continue, but will enable GHIT to expand its global development partnerships and its reach around the world. On the health agenda of this year’s G7 Summit in Japan are antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and R&D for infectious disease such as NTDs. Aligned with these goals, GHIT drives forward product development of new technologies to eliminate NTDs and, with over half of its investments targeting resistance in malaria and tuberculosis, is also committed to the fight against AMR.
“Since our initial commitment three years ago, GHIT has made incredible progress in leveraging Japan’s vast cutting-edge science and technology know-how for game-changing tools that have the potential to one day save millions of lives across the globe,” said Dr. Eiji Hinoshita, Director, Global Health Policy Division, International Cooperation Bureau, Ministry of Foreign Affairs. “With today’s announcement, we are incredibly proud to be able to support the continued advancement of these innovations, which, with their rapid advancement through the pipeline, are already poised to make real our vision of a healthier world.”
The first of its kind in Japan, GHIT Fund is a public-private partnership involving GOJ, Japan’s leading life science companies, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Wellcome Trust, and UNDP. It represents strong commitments of the country as a whole to fighting infectious disease near and far by mobilizing healthcare companies, academic institutions, and research organizations to engage in the effort to develop medicines, vaccines, and diagnostic tools for people who need them most.
“Today’s announcement represents a bold demonstration of Japan’s legacy in Summit leadership and a concrete endorsement for GHIT as a truly innovative model for global partnership,” said Dr. Kiyoshi Kurokawa, Chair of the Board at the GHIT Fund. “Together with the commitments from our partners in the civil and private sectors, the government’s announcement brings us leaps and bounds closer to our replenishment goals.”
GHIT is working with its partners from industry and at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Wellcome Trust to realize its full replenishment.
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