Sunday, June 4, 2023 | 02:32 am

Unitaid and the Global Health Innovative Tech Fund Deepen Ties to Improve Access to Key Health Tools

Unitaid and the Global Health Innovative Tech Fund Deepen Ties to Improve Access to Key Health Tools

The Global Health Innovative Technology Fund (GHIT Fund) and the global health agency United have signed a cooperation framework that aims to strengthen collaboration between the two agencies to increase cooperation between the Japanese research and development industry and the broader global health response. The partnership will focus on tackling complex challenges such as emerging drug resistance in tuberculosis (TB) and malaria and shifting patterns of vector-borne diseases due to climate change.

By reinforcing links between the GHIT Fund’s research and development pipeline and Unitaid’s expertise in product introduction and access, the framework will further efforts to connect partners and ideas dealing with topics of health innovation, access, and scale.

The agreement unites the two agencies at a broad strategic level and creates a channel for continuous collaboration, scanning the innovation pipeline for late-stage products that address the most pressing global health needs. This work will further efforts to ensure vulnerable and underserved populations have access to better health products and support progress toward universal health coverage.

“GHIT looks forward to strengthening the strategic partnership with United as both organizations enter the next chapter of respective 5-year strategic plans. We strive for a seamless transition of GHIT’s innovation pipelines to Unitaid’s expertise in new product introduction and access, bridging equitable and sustainable access and delivery at scale. We will accelerate the R&D pipeline to maximize impact.” said Dr. Osamu Kunii, CEO of GHIT Fund.

“The recent COVID-19 pandemic has illustrated the importance of global collaboration in solving global problems,” said Dr. Philippe Duneton, Executive Director of United. “Unitaid’s reinforced partnership with the GHIT Fund will leverage ties with Japanese innovators who are addressing some of today’s most pressing health challenges. This will improve equitable access to the benefits of new medicines, diagnostics, and health technologies for people everywhere, in pursuit of a healthier, safer world for all.” 

The GHIT Fund is a Japan-based international public-private partnership fund (PPP) that was formed between the Government of Japan, multiple pharmaceutical companies, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Wellcome, and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). The GHIT Fund invests and manages an R&D portfolio of development partnerships aimed at addressing neglected diseases such as malaria, tuberculosis, and neglected tropical diseases that afflict the world’s vulnerable and underserved populations. The GHIT Fund mobilizes Japanese industry, academia, and research institutes to create new drugs, vaccines, and diagnostics for malaria, tuberculosis, and neglected tropical diseases, in collaboration with global partners.

United is a global health agency engaged in finding innovative solutions to prevent, diagnose, and treat diseases more quickly, cheaply, and effectively, in low- and middle-income countries. Its work includes funding initiatives to address major diseases such as HIV, malaria, and tuberculosis, as well as HIV co-infections and co-morbidities including advanced HIV disease, cervical cancer, and hepatitis C, and cross-cutting areas, such as fever management. United is now applying its expertise to address challenges in advancing new therapies and diagnostics for the COVID-19 pandemic, serving as a key member of the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator, co-leading the Therapeutics Pillar with Wellcome and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and participating in the Diagnostics Pillar.