AsianScientist (Jun. 8, 2017) – The Global Health Innovative Technology Fund (GHIT Fund), which has been dedicated to leveraging Japanese expertise and capacity for health innovations to save lives in the world’s poorest countries, has secured commitments of over US$200 million to its replenishment for its next phase of work, allowing it to move the most advanced tools out of the lab and into the hands of those who need them most.
The new commitment for GHIT’s second phase is double the initial US$100 million investment GHIT received when it was created in 2013. The Government of Japan will contribute roughly half of the replenishment, with other partners splitting the remaining half.
Leveraging Japan’s historic leadership in global health and innovation, along with the unique technology and knowhow of its domestic and global partners, GHIT invests in R&D projects to develop new medicines, vaccines and diagnostics to address a range of infectious diseases, including HIV/AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis and neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). It is the first public-private partnership of its kind for global health research and development, involving government, private companies, and private foundations.
The fund has invested approximately US$100 million in 61 global product development partnerships that leverage Japanese innovation and capacities in pharmaceuticals. Eight of GHIT’s 23 novel screening programs have advanced into the next stage of development; six clinical trials are under way in the developing world; and two projects have achieved proofs-of-concept (Phase II trials).
“Japan has shown strong leadership in accelerating scientific advances that save lives and have the potential to help millions escape the cycle of poverty,” said Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. “From investments in research and development for neglected tropical diseases, to support for the Global Fund’s progress in combatting AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, and now through a continued commitment to GHIT, Japan continues to play a critical role in improving the lives of the world’s poorest.”
As GHIT prepares to enter the second five-year phase of its work, it plans to broaden its role in advancing R&D product development to include additional partnerships that further facilitate access to and delivery of the tools that emerge from its pipeline.
To reinforce the bonds between R&D, access and delivery, and strengthen health systems, GHIT will be strengthening its collaboration with global health entities, such as Japan’s Pharmaceutical and Medical Devices Agency, Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development, and Japan International Cooperation Agency, as well as the Global Fund, Gavi, WHO, UNICEF, UNDP, and others.
“With this replenishment of GHIT, Japan is further cementing its legacy as a leader in global health innovation,” said Professor Kiyoshi Kurokawa, Chair of the GHIT Fund Board of Directors. “The success of GHIT is catalyzing Japan’s engagement with other new initiatives and transforming global health partnerships. This is good for Japan and for the world.”
Source: Global Health Innovative Technology Fund; Photo: Shutterstock.
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