Press Release

May 18, 2021

GHIT Fund Announces New Investments: A Total of 960 Million Yen in Drugs for Leishmaniasis and Diagnostics for Buruli Ulcer and Chagas Disease

The Global Health Innovative Technology (GHIT) Fund announced today a total of approximately 960 million yen (US$8.8 million*) to invest in four new partnerships to develop new lifesaving drugs for leishmaniasis and diagnostics for Buruli ulcer and Chagas disease.** (Appendix 1 & 2).


“We are pleased to announce our new investments in four NTDs projects. In the World Health Organization’s (WHO) new NTDs roadmap, new diagnostics for NTDs are critical for control and elimination. The diagnostics projects for Buruli ulcer and congenital Chagas diseases, which are led by international partnerships, will play a pivotal role in early detection and treatment as point-of-care tools in resource-limited settings,” said GHIT’s CEO and Executive Director Catherine Ohura. “In addition, we are excited about two new partnerships between the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi) and Japanese partners for a leishmaniasis treatment entering drug discovery and preclinical stages, further strengthening the global leishmaniasis portfolio.”


As of May 18, there are 61 ongoing projects, including 31 discovery, 21 preclinical and nine clinical trials, in the GHIT portfolio (Appendix 3). The total amount of investments since 2013 is 26 billion yen (US$239 million).



* USD1 = JPY108.98, the approximate exchange rate on April 30, 2021.

** These awarded projects were selected from a number of proposals to the RFP2020-002 for Target Research Platform, Screening Platform, Hit-to-Lead Platform, and Product Development Platform, which was open for applications from June 2020 to January 2021. The GHIT board conducted in February 2021 approved these new investments.