Therapy Areas: Infectious Diseases
GHIT fund invests JPY500m in antimalarial drug clinical trial
15 December 2023 -

The Global Health Innovative Technology (GHIT) Fund, headquartered in Japan, announced on Thursday an investment of approximately JPY1.3bn (USD8.8m) for the development of new drugs for malaria and Chagas disease.

Malaria is an infectious parasitic disease transmitted by mosquitos that affects approximately 250 million people annually and was responsible for approximately 620,000 deaths in 2021.

The GHIT Fund invests in new product development with the aim of contributing to global health by facilitating collaborations between Japanese technology and innovation and global institutions to address these neglected infectious diseases.

The GHIT Fund will invest approximately JPY500m (USD3.3m) in a clinical phase III trial for a triple artemisinin combination drug against malaria, in partnership with a Japanese integrated trading and investment business conglomerate, Marubeni, a major Chinese pharmaceutical and healthcare company, FOSUN PHARMA, a Thailand-based research collaboration of universities, Mahidol-Oxford Tropical Medicine Research Unit (MORU), and the product development partnership Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV), which provides technical support and market access expertise.

The GHIT Fund will also invest approximately JPY800m (USD5.4m) in the anti-malarial drug project by Eisai Co., Ltd. and the University of Kentucky to develop a radical cure for P. vivax malaria. SJ733, an antimalarial drug candidate, has completed a Phase IIa trial for single administration and has shown efficacy and tolerability against P. vivax malaria. With this new investment, the project aims to shorten the treatment period by using SJ733 in combination with the existing drug tafenoquine.

In addition, the GHIT Fund will invest approximately JPY16m (USD0.1m) in Nagasaki University and Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi) for a screening project against Chagas disease, which is one of the neglected tropical diseases.