eisai co., ltd. (headquarters: tokyo, ceo: haruo naito, “eisai”) has announced that it will grant a total of 500 million yen to the global health innovative technology fund (“ghit fund”) to fund the second phase of its activities, which will take place in the five-year period from fy 2018 to fy 2022. the ghit fund is a public-private partnership, co-established in april 2013 by multiple japanese pharmaceutical companies (including eisai), the japanese government, and the bill & melinda gates foundation, for the purpose of accelerating development of new medicines to cure infectious diseases in developing and emerging countries by facilitating collaboration between research organizations in japan and overseas.
in order to develop treatments for the numerous people suffering from infectious diseases such as neglected tropical diseases (ntds) and malaria in developing and emerging countries, there are disease-specific development and marketability issues to overcome. it is also necessary to establish local supply systems and help patients secure access to diagnosis and treatments. the key to overcoming these challenges are industry-government-academia partnerships which transcend the usual sector boundaries.
eisai is proactively collaborating with academia and research organizations and has participated in 11 joint research projects to develop new medicines and vaccines for malaria, chagas disease, leishmaniasis, and filariasis, with the support of the ghit fund.
currently, eisai is conducting a phase ii clinical trial of its in-house developed agent e1224 (generic name: fosravuconazole) for the treatment of chagas disease in partnership with the non-profit organization drugs for neglected diseases initiative(dndi). eisai is also conducting a phase i clinical trial of antimalarial agent sj733 in collaboration with non-profit public-private partnership medicines for malaria venture (mmv) and the university of kentucky. furthermore, several pre-clinical stage projects are underway, including joint research with the broad institute and mmv to develop an antimalarial agent with a new mechanism of action, which has been newly adopted by the ghit fund this year.
in accordance with its human health care (hhc) philosophy, eisai will continue to proactively engage in initiatives which contribute to improving the health and welfare of people in developing and emerging countries. eisai considers this to be a long term investment in economic growth and the expansion of the middle-income class.