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Jul 11, 2013
 |  BC Innovations  |  Translation in Brief

Translational tidbits

Last month's public-private partnership with the highest total funding was the launch of the Global Health Innovative Technology Fund, an infectious disease initiative that plans to disperse $100 million over 5 years. On the biotech side, Onyx Pharmaceuticals Inc. formed an alliance with the University of California, San Francisco's Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center.

A table of selected public-private partnerships (PPPs) announced in June rounds out this edition of translational tidbits (see "Selected public-private partnerships for June 2013").

Japan reaches out

The Global Health Innovative Technology Fund (GHIT Fund) launched its flagship funding program to partner Japanese pharmas and academics with Western not-for-profit organizations to conduct research on tropical and neglected diseases.

GHIT Fund's plan is to distribute about $100 million over 5 years for R&D in diseases that mostly occur outside of Japan, including tuberculosis, malaria and a range of tropical parasites.

About half of the committed funding comes from Japan's government, a quarter from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the rest from a consortium of five Japanese pharmas-Astellas Pharma Inc., Daiichi Sankyo Co. Ltd., Eisai Co. Ltd., Shionogi & Co. Ltd. and Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd.

In June, GHIT Fund handed out its first tranche of $11.3 million to fund 13 separate partnerships between 3 Western not-for-profit groups and Japanese companies and academic institutes.

"This is the most significant investment both by the Japanese government and by the Japanese private sector in R&D in global health," said GHIT Fund CEO and executive director B.T. Slingsby.

Under the scheme, Medicines for Malaria Venture will partner separately with Eisai, Daiichi and Takeda to screen for antimalarial compounds from those companies' libraries. Academic collaborators in this project are at the Institute of Microbial Chemistry (BIKAKEN) and the Kitasato Institute.

The Global Alliance for TB Drug Development will work separately...

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