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Big pharma alliances for infectious diseases drug development

Posted on 09 April 2013

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Five Japanese life sciences giants pharma alliances with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Japan’s government to develop new medicines, vaccines, and diagnostics for infectious diseases in developing countries.

Astellas Pharma, Daiichi Sankyo, Eisai, Shionogi, and Takeda Pharmaceutical, five top big pharma companies, have joined the Gates foundation and Japanese officials to launch the Global Health Innovative Technology fund.

The fund has three stated purposes: facilitating R&D global partnerships between Japanese and non-Japanese private and public research organizations; providing grants to those R&D global partnerships; and advancing and strengthening Japan’s contribution to global health.

Grants will be awarded for research into treatments for HIV, malaria, tuberculosis, and neglected tropical diseases.

Takeda said in its statement that its participation in GHIT is part of a broader commitment “to solve the social challenges in healthcare where the company can leverage its own expertise.” Toward that end, Takeda said, it is also supporting efforts of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (Global Fund) and Plan Japan to improve access to healthcare for people in developing countries.

Daiichi Sankyo said in its statement that its involvement in GHIT paralleled the company’s individual global-health efforts, which include establishing mobile healthcare field clinics service in India, Cameroon, and Tanzania, to developing countries.

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