January 12, 2022

[Session 4] 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 4 FIND, the global alliance for diagnostics: Innovative Diagnosis and Partnerships For All

[Date/Time] February 2, 2022 from 17:00 - 18:30 (JST)

[Registration] https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_8efm1uYvRaK0uvR5lvJqpg



17:00 - 17:05 pm: Opening & Introduction

17:05 - 17:30 pm: Presentation by Dr. Sergio Carmona & Mr. Willo Brock, FIND

17:30 - 17:45 pm: Presentation by Prof. Shinjiro Hamano, Nagasaki University

17:45 - 18:00 pm: Presentation by Prof. Takafumi Tsuboi, Ehime University

18:00 - 18:20 pm: Panel Discussion

18:20 - 18:30 pm: Q&A Session

18:30 pm: End of Webinar  



Dr. Sergio Carmona, Chief Medical Officer, FIND

Dr. Sergio Carmona joined FIND in 2019, providing leadership for the TB, HCV and access programmes, as well as playing a major role in the organization’s contribution to the COVID-19 global response. In February 2021, he was appointed Chief Medical Officer. Prior to joining FIND, Sergio spent over a decade at the National Health Laboratory Service (NHLS) in South Africa, where he specialized in molecular diagnostics and treatment monitoring for early infant diagnosis, HIV drug resistance and associated co-infections. A haematologist by training, Sergio has been involved in technical committees and initiatives led by WHO, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the African Society of Laboratory Medicine and the South African National Department of Health. During his time in academia at the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa, his research outputs supported guidance in HIV diagnostics and informed guidelines for the management of patients presenting with advanced HIV disease, including participation in the WHO 2015 HIV Clinical Guidelines Development Group and in 2017 the Southern African HIV clinician society guidelines. Sergio earned his medical degree (MBBCh) from the University of Witwatersrand before doing a Pathology Specialization (FCPath) in 2009, earning a PhD in Molecular Medicine and Haematology in 2018. A South African national with roots in Chile, Sergio is proficient in English and Spanish.


Mr. Willo Brock, Director of External Affairs, FIND

Willo Brock joined FIND as Director of External Affairs in February 2021. In this role, he is responsible for driving stakeholder engagement, communication, advocacy, and resource mobilization. Willo has almost 30 years of global development and health experience. Previously, he was Senior Vice President External Affairs at TB Alliance for seven years and worked for large international development organizations like WWF and Habitat for Humanity. His passion is bringing together people, for-profit organizations, governments and civil society to tackle global issues of insecurity and inequality and develop effective programmes giving people opportunities for growth and development. Willo started his career working for the Netherlands Ministry of Development in Pakistan and later moved to MDF Training & Consultancy, gaining over ten years of management consultancy, training, coaching and project management experience focused on non-profit clients. He has worked in over 90 countries globally. Willo earned a master’s degree in business economics from Erasmus University Rotterdam.


Prof. Shinjiro Hamano, Professor and a vice-dean of the Institute of Tropical Medicine, Nagasaki University, Director of the Japanese Society of Parasitology and the Japanese Society of Tropical Medicine

Shinjiro Hamano M.D., Ph.D., is a Professor and a vice-dean of the Institute of Tropical Medicine, Nagasaki University. In addition, he is a director of the Japanese Society of Parasitology and the Japanese Society of Tropical Medicine. After graduating from the School of Medicine, Kumamoto University, he obtained a doctorate (medicine) from Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, Kyushu University, and experienced postdoc at Virginia State University. His research interests are tropical infectious diseases and host defense mechanisms to microbes, especially parasites. Besides the immunological approach, he conducts field studies on neglected tropical diseases, especially schistosomiasis and leishmaniasis. Since 2020, he has been involved in a new international multidisciplinary collaboration to develop “A schistosomiasis rapid diagnostic test” with Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND), Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC), Merck Global Health Institute (MGHI) with the support by the GHIT (G2020-104). In addition, he also dedicated himself to the GHIT project with Lygature and LUMC to develop diagnostic tools for elimination and control programs targeting schistosomiasis (T2017-272, DTECT-Schisto). He has also contributed to developing live-attenuated prophylactic vaccines for leishmaniasis (G2015-115 and G2018-102) and trypanosomiasis (G2019-102) using CRISPR gene editing and leishmania skin test for detection of Leishmania exposure and immunity (G2019-213).


Prof. Takafumi Tsuboi, Distinguished Professor of Proteo-Science Center, Ehime University

Prof. Takafumi Tsuboi, M.D., Ph.D. is Distinguished Professor of Proteo-Science Center, Ehime University. He graduated from Ehime University School of Medicine and had clinical training on internal medicine, then obtained Ph.D. degree on parasitology. After the basic research experience on general parasitology, he started malaria molecular biology on RBC invasion at University of Notre Dame, and malaria transmission-blocking vaccine research at NIH. After his return to Japan, he has been mainly working on invasion mechanism of malaria parasite and malaria transmission-blocking vaccine at Ehime University School of Medicine. After his move to Proteo-Science Center, he has been leading genome-wide discovery of novel malaria vaccine and diagnostic antigen targets based on the wheat germ cell-free system, a unique protein synthesis technology invented in Ehime University. He is also vigorously involved in R & D against malaria vaccine and diagnostics. He was previously engaged in a GHIT-funded project; discovery of serological makers of P. vivax hypnozoite infection, and is currently engaged in 4 malaria vaccine development projects; pre-erythrocytic, transmission-blocking, and pregnant malaria vaccines.



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


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