February 9, 2022

[Session 5] 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 5 EVI/MVI: Developing Effective and Affordable Vaccines through Partnerships

[Date/Time] March 24, 2022 from 20:00 - 21:30 (JST)

[Registration] https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_qaZ8WDJrRVemfwZ96iZhOg


20:00 - 20:05 pm: Opening & Introduction

20:05 - 20:20 pm: Presentation by Dr. Sophie Houard, European Vaccine Initiative

20:20 - 20:30 pm: Presentation by Mr. Masanori Osakabe, Nobelpharma Co., Ltd.

20:30 - 20:45 pm: Presentation by Dr. Yimin Wu, PATH Malaria Vaccine Initiative

20:45 - 20:55 pm: Presentation by Dr. Tomoko Ishino, Tokyo Medical and Dental University

20:55 - 21:20 pm: Panel Discussion

21:20 - 21:30 pm: Q&A Session

21:30 pm: End of Webinar



Dr. Sophie Houard, Director of Clinical Development, European Vaccine Initiative

Dr. Sophie Houard is currently Director of Clinical Development at European Vaccine Initiative (EVI). Her work has focused on the development of drugs and vaccines for human usage for more than 35 years. Prior to joining EVI, she served as Chief Scientific Officer and Head of Proprietary Products Platform at Henogen, Belgium where she was involved in all steps of development of vaccine up to phase III multinational clinical trials. Since 2010, her goal has been to focus on the development of vaccines against poverty related diseases in the context of a non-profit organisation. This is being accomplished at EVI where, in collaboration with academic, public, private and philanthropic partners, she supports the development of several malaria, leishmaniasis, shigellosis and other vaccine candidates from the production up to the phase II clinical trials. She was trained as a molecular biologist and holds a MD and PhD in Sciences from the Free University of Brussels, Belgium.


Mr. Masanori Osakabe, Executive Officer of R&D, Nobelpharma Co., Ltd.

Prior to joining Nobelpharma Co., Ltd in 2014 as a senior director of its R&D division, Mr. Osakabe worked for Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation (now Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma) from 1984, starting as a pharmacology researcher for the first six years. In the next ten years, Mr. Osakabe was mainly responsible for clinical research program in Japan. In 1999-2010, Mr. Osakabe oversaw the company’s international clinical research programs, including serving as the head of the US subsidiary for two years. Until 2014 when he left Mitsubishi, Mr. Osakabe worked on clinical planning, clinical operations in Japan, and data science (biostatistics, data management, clinical pharmacology). At Nobelpharma, Mr. Osakabe is responsible for international clinical research programs for a portfolio of products including a malaria vaccine. He received his bachelor from University of Tokyo Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences and master’s degrees from University of Tokyo Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences.


Dr. Yimin Wu, Scientific Advisor, PATH Malaria Vaccine Initiative

With 30 years in malaria research and 20 years in malaria vaccine development, Dr. Yimin Wu serves as a scientific advisor in PATH’s Malaria Vaccine Initiative (MVI), leading, coordinating, and facilitating multiple research and translational projects on malaria vaccine development, in partnership with academic institutes, biopharmaceutical companies, governments, and non-for-profit organizations. Prior to joining PATH, Yimin was the head of the Product Development Unit in the Malaria Vaccine Development Branch at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), USA, from 2003 to 2015. She directed and managed the life cycle of the development of malaria vaccine candidates from manufacturer release to preclinical and clinical evaluations, including regulatory submissions of INDs and IMPDs. She also led formulation research to improve immunogenicity of malaria vaccine candidates, led research and development of field-based assays to evaluate vaccine efficacy in malaria-endemic regions, and led multi-site/multi-country testing of clinical specimens. Prior to NIAID she was the inaugural director of the Malaria Research and Reference Reagent Resource Center, known as MR4 by the malaria research community, the American Type Culture Collection. She earned her BM at Shanghai University of Chinese Medicine and Ph.D at Southern Methodist University.


Dr. Tomoko Ishino, Professor in Department of Parasitology and Tropical Medicine, Tokyo Medical and Dental University

Dr. Tomoko Ishino is a Professor in Department of Parasitology and Tropical Medicine, Tokyo Medical and Dental University. She earned her Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Science (developmental biology) at the University of Tokyo in 2001. She started working on malaria parasites as a postdoctoral fellow in Mie University to elucidate the molecular mechanisms of sporozoite infection of mammalian hosts. She identified totally 7 novel secretory proteins required for sporozoite infection of the mammalian livers by the reverse-genetics. After spending almost three years in Pasteur Institute in Paris, she joined Ehime University, as an associate Professor, from 2009 to 2021. Her major research interests are: (1) elucidation of the molecular mechanisms of parasite transmission from mosquitoes to mammal; (2) elucidation of the molecular mechanisms of sexual-stage parasite development; (3) screening for novel candidates as transmission-blocking or infection blocking vaccine targets. Aside from the research, she was also serving as a senior scientific research specialist, Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, from 2011 to 2013.



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


Seminar 4 FIND, the global alliance for diagnostics: Innovative Diagnosis and Partnerships For All