Participation in the GHIT Fund and Utilization of Partnerships
The Daiichi Sankyo Group is promoting partnership-based drug discovery to make the best use of its accumulated scientific findings and global network. Partnerships bring synergies to initiatives that cannot be completed by the Group alone. This initiative contributes to Goal 17: “Partnerships for the Goals” of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted by the United Nations member states.
The Daiichi Sankyo Group has funded the Global Health Innovative Technology Fund (hereinafter referred to as the “GHIT Fund”) since its establishment in April 2013. To promote the development of drugs for combating infectious diseases in developing countries, the GHIT Fund was established as a public-private partnership originating in Japan and was supported by the government of Japan, five Japanese pharmaceutical companies, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. We have continued the funding for the second phase starting in April 2018. The GHIT Fund has contributed to breakthroughs in many innovative product developments through its investments.
The Group is utilizing the partnership through the GHIT Fund structure to undertake a number of projects, including one to explore clinical candidate compounds for the treatment of Chagas disease, which is considered to be a neglected tropical disease (NTD), and another to explore candidate anti-tuberculosis drugs from natural products. In these projects, we are integrating our accumulated drug discovery capabilities, our partners’ expertise in diseases, and the GHIT Fund’s investment capabilities and its global network.
Daiichi Sankyo will continue with activities that contribute to fulfilling its corporate mission through initiatives to create innovative pharmaceuticals and improve medical access in developing countries.
The Global Health Innovative Technology Fund
Participation in Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) Screening Consortium
The threat of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is now a major global public health issue. Only a few antibiotics are currently under development in the world against serious bacterial infection, and unless appropriate measures are taken now, antimicrobial-resistant bacteria may cause approximately 10 million deaths per year by 2050.
Thus, Daiichi Sankyo is participating in the Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) Screening Consortium led by the Global Antibiotic Research and Development Partnership (GARDP) and is working on measures to combat AMR. The Consortium is joined by Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited and Eisai Co., Ltd., and aims to acquire novel compounds with antibacterial activity by using the chemical libraries of the respective companies.
Through the partnership within the Consortium, we aim to create novel treatments for patients at risk from AMR and to contribute to realizing a world where lives are no longer lost to antimicrobial-resistant bacteria.
Promotion of the Utilization of Research Results in the Manufacturing Technology Association of Biologics
The Daiichi Sankyo Group is promoting the utilization of a new CHO cell strain* (CHO-MK) for the manufacturing of biopharmaceuticals under in-house development. CHO-MK was developed through our participation in the Manufacturing Technology Association of Biologics (MAB) and has productivity (i.e., the ability to produce antibodies, growth rate, and stability in culture) at a world-leading level.
Through cooperation with the MAB’s project, “Development of Advanced Manufacturing Technologies for Continuous Manufacturing”, we are also exploring new opportunities for further technological innovation and open innovation.
- *Chinese hamster ovary-derived cell strain. It is used widely for the manufacture of antibody drugs.
With the aim to incubate innovative seeds mainly created by Japan’s academia, we have established and manage an investment fund (OiDE Fund) jointly with Mitsubishi UFJ Capital Co., Ltd., the Organization for Small & Medium Enterprises and Regional Innovation Japan, and others. As our No. 5 investment project, we have commenced an open innovation research aimed at developing a gene therapy drug for visual restoration. In cooperation with the Prof. Kandori’s Laboratory at the Graduate School of Engineering of Nagoya Institute of Technology, the Daiichi Sankyo Group has identified the potential application of the highly active, novel photo-responsive protein, GtCCR4, to the restoration of vision, in the collaborative drug discovery program TaNeDS. In this research program funded by the OiDE Fund, we will examine the further improvement of the performance of GtCCR4 and its potential application to gene therapy. The Daiichi Sankyo Group will progress with the research toward the practical application of GtCCR4 as an innovative gene therapy for patients who have lost their vision due to retinitis pigmentosa, for which there is a high unmet medical need. For details on the OiDE project, refer to the following website:
OiDE Project (To Japanese page)