Five Japan-based pharmaceutical companies are forming a public-private partnership with the Japanese government to help developing countries fight infectious diseases. Called the Global Health Innovative Technology (GHIT), the fund will be composed of Takeda, Astellas, Daiichi-Sankyo, Eisai and Shionogi plus the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Japanese government to develop medicine, vaccines and diagnostics for these countries.
This is the first of its kind in Japan and will follow the model that has become the trend now in global medicine research. Some groups have formed in Europe, including Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) which supports research into specific priority health areas like resistance to antibiotics. GHIT will be providing funding for research into HIV, malaria, tuberculosis and neglected tropical diseases (NTDs).
Dr Kiyoshi Kurokawa, science adviser to the Japanese government and the GHIT Fund chair, said that the priority is to provide fast and impactful research with the spirit of collaboration. He also says that this partnership is a commitment to make “tangible the kinds of contributions in innovation” that Japan should be known for and is part of the growth strategies of the country.
Daiichi-Sankyo said that one of their reasons for being involved in the project is to be able to provide mobile healthcare access to countries like India, Cameroon, and Tanzania. Astellas is bringing to the table its existing programs on developing health technologies for NTDs. They want to develop on its research for drugs in diseases caused by the dengue virus which is the astest spreading vector-borne viral disease. Eisai believes that the GHIT is a “long-term investment in its future” as the world becomes more globalised and the need for companies to increase their global footprint is necessary.
[ via PM Live ]