Our Motivation


In view of the fact that free-market mechanisms do not facilitate new technologies against infectious diseases to developing nations, a stream of unique new organizations has emerged to meet this challenge. These initiatives, created primarily in Europe and North America, are known collectively as Product Development Partnerships (PDPs). They are international nonprofit organizations who work with a vast network of partners committed to supporting R&D for new health products designed to serve the needs of developing nations. About 20 PDPs currently are engaged in global-scale R&D and testing of drugs, vaccines, diagnostic agents and other solutions for use against HIV, malaria, tuberculosis and NTDs.

Like regular life science companies, PDPs engage in the strategic operation and maintenance of product portfolios. Unlike companies, PDPs are essentially nonprofit in orientation. The PDP is an unprecedented new type of organization, positioned to pool project-management skills and know-how in partnerships with myriad companies, universities and research institutes around the world to promote breakthrough R&D. These partnerships represent the emergence of a unique new type of actor in the field of global health R&D.

Each PDP engages in product development for a single disease or a specific small group of diseases. Because they are nonprofit in nature, PDPs strive to avoid competitive or overlapping R&D, and at times advance joint research initiatives. PDPs also enable investors to pool funding to achieve greater impact than they would have through individual, sole-investor projects. In addition, PDPs enable investors to fund a portfolio of projects and research that has been carefully selected to achieve maximum impact.As a result, they embodya unique new business model.

PDPs join forces to energetically advance partnerships aimed at R&D, advocacy and other pivotal efforts to resolve scientific, economic, legal and political issues related to new product development.

To learn more about PDPs and their Funders, please visit The Global Health Technologies Coalition , a confederation of over 25 PDPs; and

The PDP Funders Group, a group of public and private sector institutions formed to support and promote PDP.

The GHIT Fund collaborates with these groups.

PDPs were created to harness the unique skills and intellectual property of different partners in the development of urgently needed medical products. PDPs offer benefits to the pharmaceutical companies, bioventure companies, universities, and research institutions that partner with them.

Pharmaceutical companies that join PDPs contribute to global health solutions, advancing their global brand while expanding portfolios aimed at the growing markets of the developing world. For bioventures, success at the R&D stage can pave the way for major business opportunities. PDPs lobby for large purchases by governments and other key stakeholders, which means that companies taking R&D-associated risks in PDPs can count on a market for safe and effective products. For universities, such partnerships can expand new research opportunities and enable participation in commercialization. Finally, PDPs strengthen research institutions’ capacity to reduce public health-related risks.

In short, PDPs offer win-win solutions. They expedite the development and supply of products that target infectious diseases in developing nations while providing tremendous opportunities for their collaborating partners.

PDPs Promote R&D and supply of products targeting infectious diseases in developing nations.

Pharmaceutical Companies
•Contributions to global health
•Expanded portfolios for developing countries
•Global branding

Bioventure Business
•Business opportunities
•System for fixed volume purchases by public agencies targeting developing nations

Universities
•Expanded research opportunities
•Participation in product commercialization

Research Institutions
•Expanded research opportunities
•Reduced public hygiene risks

Although the PDP is a new type of organization, these partnerships have already succeeded in creating 39 products, including a number of breakthroughs.

Xpert MTB/RIF, for example, is a diagnostic for drug-resistant tuberculosis that has reduced the period required for diagnosis from three months to a mere two hours. Another product, Coartem Dispersable, a pediatric drug for treating malaria, has already been supplied to 36 countries. Over 100 million doses of the new malaria treatment compound ASAQ have been distributed, with approval applications sought in 30 African nations.

Participation in PDPs is prompting major changes to the landscape of global health R&D. Collaboration with PDPs holds the potential to accelerate R&D while reducing costs.

The GHIT Fund will be active in furnishing strategic support for such global coalitions over the years to come.

Over the years, Japan has made significant contributions to economic growth and prosperity in developing nations through Official Development Assistance (ODA), cost-free technology transfer, and other avenues. Japan's commitments to United Nations agencies, the Global Funds and other major international organizations have placed the country in the top tier of global donors. In fact, Japan has been a consistent leader of ODA globally for several decades.

On the other hand, Japan’s support for the R&D of novel health interventions in developing countries comprises only about 2% of its total ODA. Japan can by no means be described as a major contributor of donations to global health R&D. Considered as a percentage of GDP, Japan's contribution to global R&D is hardly adequate in light of the country's strength and potential.

In terms of R&D capacity, Japan ranks at the highest world levels. In terms of both the number of international patent applications and new products developed, Japan is a global leader in scientific technology.

The mobilization of Japan's technological and innovative capacity to combat infectious diseases in developing nations can be tremendously significant for the nation in the years to come. The Japanese people and government alike are driven to make positive contributions to global health and help address challenges faced by developing nations.

The time is ripe, therefore, for Japan to spearhead vigorous initiatives in the global health arena, to manifest leadership in the true and lasting sense of the word.