TOKYO, June 1, 2017 -- Chugai Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. (TOKYO: 4519) announced today that it has decided to contribute 500 million yen for the second-phase activities of the Global Health Innovative Technology Fund (GHIT Fund) for five years starting from fiscal 2018 to 2022.
From fiscal 2013 to 2017, GHIT Fund has invested approximately 10 billion yen in 61 projects aimed at the development of medications, vaccines, and diagnostics for malaria, tuberculosis, and neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) that had not been actively developed in the past. Japan’s drug discovery technologies and R&D skills have been directly and effectively utilized for global health from exploratory research, which is the initial stage of drug discovery, to clinical trials in South America and Africa.
Regarding the projects in which the company participates, “Screening Program for Tuberculosis” and “Preclinical Development of an Anti-Dengue Virus Antibody that Neutralizes All Four Serotypes” (hereafter, the Anti-Dengue Virus Antibody Project) were selected as grant recipients by the GHIT Fund in 2016 and 2017, respectively. The Anti-Dengue Virus Antibody Project is GHIT Fund’s first development project for antibody therapeutics. Currently, there is no effective drug for the treatment of severe cases of dengue fever, therefore Chugai and our joint development partner, the Singapore Immunology Network (SIgN), seek to make a contribution to global health through the success of this project.
“In order to further develop the global society, the realization of global health becomes increasingly important,” said Osamu Nagayama, Chairman and CEO. “In this context, the mission of the GHIT Fund, the world’s first public-private partnership specializing in global health product development is essential. Chugai will continue to support its activities while also utilizing our strengths as a research-focused pharmaceutical company, our proprietary antibody engineering technologies and drug discovery network, with the aim of establishing safe and effective treatment options.”
Chugai has established world-leading antibody engineering technologies. In addition, while forming an infrastructure for small molecule discovery, the company is also taking on the challenge of establishing next-generation technologies for creating middle-molecule drugs. Driven by innovation, Chugai will continue to contribute to the enhancement of health and medical access for people in developing countries and to the economic development of these countries.
About the Global Health Innovative Technology Fund (GHIT Fund)
The Global Health Innovative Technology Fund (GHIT Fund) is an international non-profit organization and the world’s first public-private partnership dedicated to research and development in the global health area. The Japanese government (Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare), multiple pharmaceutical companies, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Wellcome Trust, and the United Nations Development Programme participate in the Fund. The GHIT Fund was established in April 2013 and conducts investments in research and development partnerships as well as portfolio management to combat infectious diseases that threaten the health of the world’s most impoverished segments of the population. With the aim of taking control of infectious diseases rampant in developing countries such as HIV / AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis, and NTDs, the Fund promotes collaboration between research institutions in Japan and overseas, promoting the development of new drugs, vaccines, and diagnostics through investment in research and development partnerships.
Detailed information on the GHIT Fund is available at https://www.ghitfund.org/en.
About “Screening Program for Tuberculosis”
The program was selected for funding by GHIT Fund in 2016, and joint development is being conducted with The Global Alliance for TB Drug Development, an international nonprofit organization (Product Development Partnership : PDP) dedicated to the development, clinical research, commercialization of new drugs for developing countries. The amount of the funding from GHIT Fund is 15 million yen.
About “Preclinical Development of an Anti-Dengue Virus Antibody that Neutralizes All Four Serotypes” (Anti-Dengue Virus Antibody Project)
The program was selected for funding by GHIT Fund in 2017, and joint development is being conducted with SIgN, an institution affiliated with the Agency for Science, Technology and Research, Singapore (A*STAR). The amount of the funding from GHIT Fund is approximately 530 million yen. The dengue virus that causes dengue fever is known to have four different serotypes. SIgN researchers identified a new human antibody that is highly effective in neutralizing the activity of all of these dengue virus serotypes, and Chugai Pharmabody Research (CPR) applied Chugai’s proprietary antibody engineering technologies to optimize the antibody.
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