GHIT Fund Deepens Support For Schistosomiasis & Leishmaniasis

An additional US$11 million has been committed to developing diagnostics and drugs for neglected tropical diseases.

AsianScientist (May 25, 2015) – The Global Health Innovative Technology Fund (GHIT Fund) has announced additional investments of nearly US$11 million, bringing its portfolio to approximately US$43 million.

The investments will include new funding for two of the world’s most neglected diseases, schistosomiasis and leishmaniasis, which overall threaten nearly three billion people—a little less than half of the world’s population. People are infected with schistosomiasis when they come in contact with contaminated water from which the parasite burrows into the skin, while leishmaniasis is spread by a parasite transmitted by infected sandflies.

GHIT Fund will invest in the development of a new point-of-care test for the diagnosis of schistosomiasis. Concurrently, GHIT will further invest in the continued development and registration of a pediatric formulation of praziquantel, the gold standard treatment for schistosomiasis. These two investments combined make the GHIT pipeline in schistosomiasis one of the most robust in the world.

Other investments include new funding for a new visceral leishmaniasis (VL) drug and the expansion of GHIT’s Screening Platform for malaria and tuberculosis to include four new Japanese entities: Daiichi Sankyo RD Novare Co., Ltd., Dainippon Sumitomo, Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma and Op Bio Factory Co., Ltd. of Okinawa.

GHIT Fund is a unique public health partnership that brings Japanese know-how and investment to the global fight against infectious diseases.

“We are proud that GHIT has been able to expand its investments into two new areas, leishmaniasis and diagnostics, as well as continue funding for current work that shows promise,” said GHIT Fund CEO Dr. BT Slingsby.

“This is not only a symbol of our success in just two years, but also indicates the increased impact we can have on diseases that have, for far too long, threatened the world’s most vulnerable people.”


Source: GHIT Fund.
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