Message from Leadership
FY 2019 represents a landmark year for GHIT, Japan, and global health alike, and we are proud to share the highlights with you. The 2020 COVID-19 pandemic placed intense pressure on the entire world, further challenging communities already struggling with neglected diseases, and underscoring the critical importance of public-private partnership (PPP) and Research and Development (R&D). Investing in product development for patients with malaria, tuberculosis (TB), and neglected tropical illnesses is more important than ever, and GHIT is committed to mobilizing our network, knowledge, and experience in ever more creative and flexible ways to ensure continuity. We can unite--and innovate--together, in spite of our physical distance, and without forgetting compassion for others. We are grateful for the opportunity to serve the global health R&D community and neglected patients worldwide, both of whose resilience and strength continues to astound us.
Tangible R&D progress
In FY 2019, GHIT invested USD 39.2 million in 19 projects. Newly awarded unique and innovative projects are critical to further strengthen our pipeline. To date, our current investments total USD 209 million. Currently, 25 discovery projects, 17 preclinical projects, and 6 clinical trials are under way. Our most advanced clinical candidates are progressing, with World Health Organization (WHO) endorsement and/or approval from a stringent regulatory authority expected within the next several years. These innovations include a urine-based rapid tuberculosis diagnostic kit and a pediatric formulation of the gold-standard drug for schistosomiasis. Getting these innovations into the hands of the patients who need them most represents a concrete realization of GHIT’s mission and vision.
Bridging R&D and access and delivery
Because innovation without access is meaningless, we are dedicated to ensuring that our development partners consider access and delivery at every stage of the R&D process. We have also created, together with the Government of Japan and United Nations Development Programme’s Access & Delivery Project (ADP), a thriving global platform for critical, ongoing global dialogue between funders, innovators, and access and delivery stakeholders to discuss common challenges and needs, and to jointly identify solutions. Furthermore, in March 2020 we were pleased to announce a new partnership with Unitaid, aligning GHIT’s strength in product development and Unitaid’s expertise in promoting access to and scale-up of health innovations.
Diversity, equity, and inclusion
We are proud to name diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) as a high-level institutional priority, explicitly recognizing it as an essential part of GHIT’s DNA through several internal and external efforts. We do this because we believe that DEI is essential to the creation of new ideas, driving innovation, and enhancing operational excellence. That, in turn, helps us contribute to better health for all through our global R&D partnerships.
Looking forward, and reflecting with appreciation
In FY 2020 our focus remains steadfast: continue to mobilize Japanese science and pharmaceutical capabilities in partnership with our global network of partners. We do this to push the boundaries of global health R&D so that innovative tools can reach those who need them most. Endorsement and approval of our first products are firmly in sight. With every year we continue to see the limitless potential of global health R&D; our job is to deliver on it. We continue to be inspired and emboldened by the passion, energy, creativity, and unwavering commitment of our funders, partners, governors, and staff, as well as the broader global health community of which we are honored to be a part. #Together, we will ignite innovation -- in times of both crisis and calm.
Hiroki Nakatani, MD, PhD, MHPEdBoard Chair
Catherine K. Ohura, MS, PMPChief Executive Officer