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Five Japanese Drug Makers Form PPP To Accelerate Development Of Drugs, Vaccines For Infectious Diseases

“Five Japanese pharmaceutical giants are teaming up with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Japan’s government to develop new medicines, vaccines, and diagnostics for infectious diseases in developing countries,” GENNews reports (4/8). “The Global Health Innovative Technology (GHIT) fund will see Takeda, Astellas, Daiichi-Sankyo, Eisai and Shionogi partner with [the] non-profit Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the government to provide grants for research funding that will help tackle HIV, malaria, tuberculosis and neglected tropical diseases (NTDs),” according to PM Live (4/8). “This is the first [public-private partnership (PPP)] of its kind in Japan and will follow the model that has become the trend now in global medicine research,” Japan Daily Press writes, adding, “Some groups have formed in Europe, including Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) which supports research into specific priority health areas like resistance to antibiotics.”

“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,” according to the news service (Torres, 4/8). “‘This initiative comes at a time when the [research and development (R&D)] landscape for neglected diseases is particularly in need of resources to guarantee that R&D is boosted in the long-term and that patients gain access to the fruits of that research,’ said Dr. Bernard Pécoul, executive director of the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi). ‘We are delighted about the GHIT initiative,’ he added,” according to a DNDi press release (4/8).