Press Release

December 24, 2014

Chugai Pharmaceutical Joins GHIT Fund as Partner, Further Expanding Japanese Innovation to Target Diseases that Affects the World’s Poorest People

TOKYO, JAPAN (December 24 2014)—The Global Health Innovative Technology Fund (GHIT Fund), a unique public health partnership that is bringing Japanese know-how and investment to the global fight against infectious diseases, today announced that Chugai Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. will partner with the GHIT Fund to accelerate the development of drugs and vaccines to fight diseases that sicken and kill the poorest people in the world.


Chugai Pharmaceutical is the GHIT Fund’s first new partner since its launch in 2013, marking significant growth for Japan’s flagship global health organization. The announcement brings to six the number of firms participating in the GHIT Fund’s consortium supporting research and development of new treatments against malaria, tuberculosis and neglected diseases that burden developing countries.


“We are delighted to welcome Chugai Pharmaceutical to the GHIT Fund,” said Dr. BT Slingsby, CEO and executive director of the GHIT Fund. “Chugai’s participation is a further exemplification of the continued leadership by Japan’s private sector to improve the health and livelihood of millions in the poorest parts of the world.”


Today’s announcement demonstrates Chugai’s first major foray into neglected and diseases of the developing world, a move that Chugai Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Osamu Nagayama said the company is strongly committed to.


“We’re pleased to join the GHIT Fund and to apply our pharmaceutical technology, innovation and expertise to solving some of the world’s most pressing global health problems,” Nagayama said. “Chugai Pharmaceutical is committed to supporting the development of new and innovative treatments that can potentially save millions of lives among the poorest people in the world.”


Chugai develops drugs for Japan and overseas. With this partnership, the company also will proactively contribute to combating infectious diseases in the developing countries.


Launched last year with a potential five-year commitment of over US$100 million, the GHIT Fund invests in the development of promising new drugs, vaccines and diagnostics. The GHIT Fund has so far invested $33.5million in the development of new innovations for neglected diseases and has quickly ascended as a game-changer in the global health quest to get new medicines to people who need them most. The GHIT investments have targeted such diseases as malaria, tuberculosis, schistosomiasis, Chagas disease and dengue.


“Cross-sector collaboration is essential to tackling these diseases that affect one billion of the world’s poorest people,” Dr.Kurokawa said. “Today’s continued strengthening of the first public-private partnership of its kind in Japan marks a giant leap forward in this global effort.”