October 27, 2021

[Session 3] 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, Japan Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association (JPMA), Japanese Association for Infectious Diseases, Japanese Society of Parasitology, Japanese Society of Tropical Medicine, Japanese Society for Vaccinology


Session 3 TB Alliance: Putting partnerships to work for better, faster TB cures

[Date/Time] November 19, 2021 from 9:00 - 10:30 am (JST)

[Registration] https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_ch5cS86cShyGiSV4Us8Wsw


9:00 - 9:05 am: Opening & Introduction

9:05 - 9:30 am: Presentation by Dr. Takushi Kaneko, TB Alliance

9:30 - 9:45 am: Presentation by Dr. Isshin Tanaka, Daiichi Sankyo RD Novare Co., Ltd.

9:45 - 10:00 am: Presentation by Prof. Scott Franzblau, University of Illinois at Chicago

10:00 - 10:20 am: Panel Discussion: Panelists and GHIT Management Team

10:20 - 10:30 am: Q&A Session

10:30 am: End of Webinar



Dr. Takushi Kaneko, Senior Research Fellow, TB Alliance

Takushi Kaneko is a Senior Research Fellow at the TB Alliance, where he is responsible, with other members of the Discovery Group, for overseeing drug discovery research activities between the TB Alliance and US and European pharmaceutical companies and academic institutions. Native of Japan, he is also involved in TB collaborations with Japanese pharmaceutical companies and laboratories through the GHIT fund. Having over thirty years’ experience in the pharmaceutical industry, he is an expert medicinal chemist with a specific background in infectious diseases, oncology, and natural products. Prior to joining the TB Alliance in October 2007, Dr. Kaneko was a Research Fellow in the Antibacterial Drug Discovery Group at Pfizer Global Research and Development Division in Groton, CT. He also managed the Natural Product Discovery Team in Pfizer before joining the Antibacterial Group. Before moving to Pfizer, Dr. Kaneko worked in the Oncology Drug Discovery Group in Bristol-Myers Pharmaceutical Research and Development Division in Wallingford, CT. He obtained his Ph.D. in organic chemistry from the University of Michigan and carried out postdoctoral research at Harvard University.


Dr. Isshin Tanaka, Scientist, Biological Research Department, Daiichi Sankyo RD Novare Co., Ltd.

Dr. Isshin Tanaka is a Scientist of the Applied Microbiology Group/Biological Research Department in Daiichi Sankyo RD Novare. He joined Sankyo in 1995, merged to Daiichi Sankyo (DS), and transferred to Daiichi Sankyo RD Novare in 2011. He has been involved in a lot of research programs of DS group companies in order to accelerate the drug discovery from natural products. He has almost 25 years of experience in the Natural Product Research. He obtained his Ph.D. from the Tsukuba University in 2005. Daiichi Sankyo RD Novare and TB Alliance have had a collaborative relationship in the screening program and the Hit-to Lead program of natural products supported by the GHIT Fund since 2014. He is involved in the collaborations as a leader of Daiichi Sankyo RD Novare.


Prof. Scott Franzblau, Director of the Institute for Tuberculosis Research and the Albert Schatz Professor in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences in the College of Pharmacy at the University of Illinois at Chicago

Scott Franzblau is the Director of the Institute for Tuberculosis Research and the Albert Schatz Professor in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences in the College of Pharmacy at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He earned his PhD in microbiology in 1982 from the University of Arizona. He conducted postdoctoral research in leprosy at the Kurume University School of Medicine and later served as Chief of Pharmacology at the National Hansen’s Disease Center. After overseeing 3 leprosy clinical trials in the Philippines, he turned his focus to tuberculosis. His current research focus is antibacterial drug discovery with a special emphasis on natural products and assay development for tuberculosis and other bacterial infections including non-tuberculous mycobacteria, Borrelia burgdorferi and ESKAPE pathogens. He oversees a group with collective expertise in high throughput screening, in vitro profiling, fermentation, natural products isolation, drug metabolism and efficacy in animal models as well as target identification, binding and crystal structure determination. Scott is an author on over 300 publications resulting from many fruitful collaborations worldwide including a close relationship with the Global Alliance for TB Drug Development since its inception.




Replay past webinars on the GHIT Fund Youtube channel.


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


Seminar 2 Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi): Innovative partnerships for the most neglected