Shionogi's primary contribution to improving global health is through the creation of innovative medicines that deliver significant advances compared to the current standard of care. 
The core therapeutic areas for Shionogi are infectious diseases and pain; obtaining adequate treatment for both can be challenging, even in developed markets. Shionogi is a full partner of the Global Health Innovative Technology (GHIT) Fund, which was established in 2013 to develop medicines, vaccines, and diagnostics using Japanese expertise with the objective of controlling infectious diseases in developing countries. Diseases of focus include HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, and neglected tropical diseases. Other partners include the Government of Japan and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Initiatives to combat neglected tropical diseases (NTDs)

Neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) such as leishmaniasis and Chagas disease also continue to threaten lives, particularly in developing countries. There has been limited progress, though, in developing effective antibiotics, giving rise to an international public health problem. Shionogi has been working with partners with various expertise in the healthcare area to find workable solutions to the numerous unmet needs in infectious diseases, and are applying the same approach to NTDs.

Contributing to the GHIT Fund

Many funds are being set up worldwide to advance research into new antibiotics. In Japan, the not-for-profit GHIT Fund was established in 2013 to promote collaboration with overseas partners and provide research funding.

Shionogi has been a contributor since it was founded. In addition to contributing to the GHIT Fund, we also have received funding. Under the auspices of the fund, Shionogi is actively working to eliminate the threat not just of NTDs but infectious diseases in general, including by taking part in a program to discover candidate compounds to treat leishmaniasis and Chagas disease.

Participation in DNDi (Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative) drug discovery consortium

Together with several other pharmaceutical companies, Shionogi has been a participant in the DNDi’s “Neglected Tropical Diseases Drug Discovery Booster” consortium since its establishment in 2015.

This consortium is an attempt to accelerate drug discovery for the world’s most neglected diseases—leishmaniasis and Chagas disease—and also reduce associated costs. The consortium has started several screening projects for the parasites that cause leishmaniasis and Chagas disease, and most have discovered promising compounds with improved antiparasitic effects. Already, each project has reduced the costs of synthesizing compounds by tens of thousands of dollars and shortened the drug discovery period by roughly 50–70%. In recognition of these achievements, the consortium received the DNDi Project of the Year Award for 2016.