August 11, 2021

[Register Now!] GHIT Fund - Product Development Partnerships (PDPs) Webinar Series

COVID-19 has drawn unprecedented global attention to the value of innovation for life-threatening infectious diseases. The extraordinary speed of pandemic tool development over the past year demonstrates the innovation and scale that is possible when stakeholders are incentivized to collaborate meaningfully despite unprecedented challenges in their path. We at GHIT are committed to leveraging the power of this potential for R&D for neglected diseases.


Over the last two decades, product development partnerships (PDPs), international, non-for-profit organizations that develop health technologies—drugs, vaccines, diagnostics, vector controls, and devices—for neglected diseases, have played a pivotal role in the global health R&D ecosystem. PDPs have successfully registered and launched more than 85 new innovative life-saving products that have been in LMICs. Recognizing the unique capabilities and strengths of these entities, GHIT has catalyzed and invested in partnerships between PDPs and Japanese entities since 2013 dedicated to creating innovative products for malaria, tuberculosis, and neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) by harnessing untapped chemical/natural compounds, technologies and innovations in Japan. The results include multiple promising candidates in GHIT’s portfolio, several of which will emerge from the pipeline in the next couple of years.


To maintain momentum and foster dialogue about the R&D community’s role, challenges, and opportunities in the fight against neglected diseases during/post COVID-19 pandemic era, GHIT will convene a set of webinar series in FY2021. Webinars will feature leaders from PDPs and their Japanese partners and address the critical role of PDPs today and tomorrow, innovative R&D partnerships for neglected diseases, as well as responses to future global health threats by utilizing their expertise, portfolios, and partner networks.


[Language] English (Simultaneous interpretation to Japanese)

[Fee] Free

[Sponsors] Japan alliance on Global NTDs (JAGntd), Japan Association of Clinical Reagents Industries, Japanese Association for Infectious Diseases, Japanese Society of Parasitology, Japanese Society of Tropical Medicine, Japanese Society for Vaccinology


Session 1 Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV): Developing Life-Saving Antimalarials Through Global Partnerships

[Date/Time] Sep 3, 2021 from 5:00 - 6:30 pm (JST)

[Registration] https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_SrX8zDY9QTmZ1d0Mf6adRQ



5:00 - 5:10 pm: Introduction to Product Development Partnerships (PDPs) by Dr. Kei Katsuno, GHIT Fund

5:10 - 5:30 pm: Presentation by Dr. James Duffy, MMV

5:30 - 5:45 pm: Presentation by Prof. Tomo Nozaki, The University of Tokyo

5:45 - 6:00 pm: Presentation by Mr. Hiroki Kano, Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma Corp.

6:00 - 6:20 pm: Panel Discussion

6:20 - 6:30 pm: Q&A Session

6:30 pm: End of Webinar



Dr. Kei Katsuno, Senior Director, Investment Strategy, Business Development, GHIT Fund

Kei Katsuno is Senior Director of Investment Strategy & Business Development at the GHIT Fund. Previously, he worked as a Health Specialist at the World Bank, following his completion of a fellowship at the Asia Pacific Leadership Program at the East West Center. Dr. Katsuno graduated from the University of Tokyo with a medical degree and worked as a medical doctor in the Emergency Medicine Department of the National Center for Global Health and Medicine (formerly International Medical Center of Japan). He possesses both Japanese and U.S. medical licenses (ECFMG) and completed the MPH program at the Johns Hopkins University as a Fulbright Scholar. He is a lecturer at the Department of Biomedical Chemistry, Graduate School of Medicine at the University of Tokyo, and a fellow of the U.S.-Japan Leadership Program.


Dr. James Duffy, Director of Drug Discovery, Medicines for Malaria Venture 

James Duffy is a Director of Drug Discovery at Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV) with 21 years’ experience working in drug discovery. He has a special interest in malaria and other infectious diseases that disproportionately affect vulnerable populations. Working at MMV, he is part of the global efforts to reduce the burden of malaria in disease-endemic countries by discovering, developing, and delivering new, effective, and affordable antimalarial drugs. His current role is to provide drug discovery expertise and strategic leadership to multidisciplinary collaborations with academic, biotechnology and pharmaceutical partners. He obtained his PhD from the University of Sussex (Brighton, UK) and prior to MMV worked at BioFocus (Cambridge, UK) where he was a co-inventor of the FDA approved HDAC inhibitor Belinostat.


Dr. Tomo Nozaki, Professor of Department of Biomedical Chemistry and Vice Dean of Graduate School of Medicine, The University of Tokyo

Prof. Tomo Nozaki, M.D., Ph.D. is Professor of Department of Biomedical Chemistry and Vice Dean of Graduate School of Medicine, The University of Tokyo.He is also Vice President of Federation of Microbiological Societies of Japan and the former President of Japanese Society of Parasitology. He graduated from Keio University School of Medicine and had post-doctoral training on molecular parasitology, particularly genome plasticity, drug resistance, and virulence of Trypanosoma cruzi and T. brucei, at NIH and the Rockefeller University. After his return to Japan, he has been mainly working on virulence and metabolism of Entamoeba histolytica, causing amebiasis, at Keio University, Gunma University, National Institute of Infectious Diseases, and The University of Tokyo. His current major interests in basic research include: vesicular trafficking, trogocytosis, phagocytosis, pathogenesis, organelle evolution, and drug resistance. He is also vigorously involved in R & D against malaria and neglected tropical diseases. He is currently engaged with two drug development projects funded by GHIT Fund: one in the anti-leishmania screening and discovery project and the other in the antimalarial hit-to-lead project.


Mr. Kano Hiroki, Senior Research Scientist, Discovery Technology Laboratories, Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma Corp.

Mr. Kano Hiroki joined Mitsubishi Chemical Corp. in 1996, and then Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma Corp. (MTPC) from 2007. He Has over 20 years carrier of a Medicinal Chemist, including SBDD(Structure-Based Drug Design), FBDD(Fragment-based Drug Design), and HTS Hit Triage. Since 2010, he has been a leader for designing and creating unique and smart libraries in MTPC. Eventually, he actively works in Japanese Pharma’s Network with an aim of expanding the diversity of libraries. Now, he is a Project Leader of joint collaboration with MMV and DNDi in MTPC.