Press Release

May 9, 2024

Approximately USD 10.8 Million Invested in New Drug Development for Malaria and NTDs in Partners including Japanese pharma Shionogi, Mitsubishi Tanabe, and Eisai and Europe-based institutions

The Global Health Innovative Technology (GHIT) Fund announced today a total investment of approximately JPY 1.64 billion (USD 10.8 million1) in four projects for the development of new drugs for malaria and neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). 2


The GHIT Fund invests in the development of new drugs, vaccines, and diagnostics for neglected infectious diseases such as malaria, tuberculosis, and NTDs, which predominantly affect the world's vulnerable and underserved populations. These R&D projects must involve partnerships between Japanese and non-Japanese organizations, and the four new projects consist of diverse partnerships including Japanese pharmaceutical companies and universities, as well as non-Japanese research institutions and universities.


The GHIT Fund will invest approximately JPY 444 million (USD 2.9 million1) in two malaria projects: the development of malaria chemoprevention drug through a partnership among Shionogi & Co., Ltd., Nagasaki University, National Institute of Infectious Diseases, and Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV), and therapeutic drug development led by Eisai Co., Ltd., the Scripps Research Institute, and International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB).


For NTDs, the GHIT Fund will also invest approximately JPY 1.2 billion (USD 7.9 million1) in two projects: drug development for onchocerciasis and lymphatic filariasis led by Eisai Co., Ltd., University Hospital Bonn, and Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research, and the development of a treatment for Chagas disease led by Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma Corporation and Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi).


The GHIT Fund plays a catalytic role in matching Japanese and global partners to accelerate R&D resulting in the support of over 180 development partners since 2013. Through global partnerships, the GHIT Fund aims to promote open innovation in R&D and create an environment that enables the rapid delivery of products to patients in need.


Please refer to Appendix 1 for a detailed description of each project and its development stage.


As of March 31, 2024, the GHIT Fund invested in 36 projects, including 12 discovery projects, 16 preclinical projects, and 8 clinical trials3 in the portfolio. The total amount of investments since 2013 is JPY 33.2 billion (USD 219 million) (Appendix 2).



1 USD1 = JPY151.33, the approximate exchange rate on March 31, 2024.

2 These awarded projects were selected and approved as new investments from among proposals to RFP2023-001 for the Product Development Platform, which was open for applications from November 2022 to July 2023.

3 This number includes projects in the registration phase.