GHIT Fund Invests Further US$11.4 Million In Malaria And Tuberculosis Research

GHIT Fund is ramping up investments for researchers working on antimalarial and tuberculosis drugs and treatments.

AsianScientist (Oct. 16, 2016) – The Global Health Innovative Technology Fund (GHIT Fund), a Japanese public-private partnership formed to battle infectious diseases around the globe, has announced six investments, totalling US$11.4 million.

Since GHIT Fund’s launch three years ago, it has invested in a partnership between the Swiss-based Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV), a leading product development partnership in the field of antimalarial drug research and development, and Daiichi Sankyo Company, Ltd., one of the major pharmaceutical companies in Japan, to develop just such medicines.

The project aims to identify new drugs that could cure infected patients of both Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax in just one dose. GHIT Fund has contributed a continued investment of US$1.8 million.

GHIT Fund also announced two other antimalarial investments: one for US$7.5 million will go to a Takeda Pharmaceuticals, Japan’s largest pharmaceutical company. This investment will support progression of a malaria drug known as DSM421 up to Phase IIa clinical trials.

The second for US$0.6 million will go to Japan’s Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma Corporation and MMV as part of GHIT Fund’s Hit-to-Lead platform, which optimizes the hit chemical compounds that were identified in the screening platform.

GHIT Fund is also ramping up its investments to combat tuberculosis. GHIT’s investments include US$0.4 million to researchers at the University of Tokyo, the Universiti Sains Malaysia, Instituto de Nutrición ‘Salvador Zubirán’ in Mexico, and Universidad de Concepción in Chile, for an early-stage vaccine that would be given intranasally, making it easier to administer and less costly than the standard injectable vaccine.

Finally, researchers at the RIKEN Center for Life Science Technologies and the United Nations’ International Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, Cape Town component, will receive US$0.2 million to explore how tuberculosis survives and replicates in humans—particularly in those who, while infected with latent tuberculosis, stay immune their entire lives.


Source: GHIT Fund.
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