Eisai Co., Ltd. (Headquarters: Tokyo, CEO: Haruo Naito, “Eisai”) announced today that it has entered into a joint research agreement with the Broad Institute (Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States, “Broad”), Mycobacteria Research Laboratories at Colorado State University (Fort Collins, Colorado, United States “Colorado State University”), and the University of Chicago (Chicago, Illinois, United States) to develop a potential new treatment for tuberculosis (TB).


In this joint research program, compounds identified from Broad’s Diversity-Oriented Synthesis chemical library will be modified to design molecules that demonstrate improved activity as TB treatments. Anti-TB activity will be researched through a new mechanism of action involving the inhibition of tryptophan synthase, an essential enzyme present in Mycobacterium sp.


TB is one of the top 10 causes of death worldwide, with 10.4 million new cases of TB infections resulting in 1.7 million deaths in 2016 alone1. Existing anti-TB medicines were introduced several decades ago, but require long courses of treatments (six to nine months), resulting in poor compliance with treatment. In addition, resistance to existing TB treatments has emerged in various parts of the world. Therefore, there is an urgent need for novel anti-TB agents with shortened treatments period and new mechanisms of action.


The Global Health Innovative Technology Fund (GHIT Fund), an international non-profit organization headquartered in Japan, is funding this new joint research program. TB Alliance is serving as an advisor to the program.


Under its human health care (hhc) philosophy, Eisai is proactively forming partnerships with governments, international organizations, and other non-profit private sector organizations, aiming to expedite the development of new treatment methods for TB, malaria and neglected tropical diseases, and thereby contribute to these patients and their families.


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Eisai Co., Ltd.




[Notes to editors]


1.  About the Broad Institute

Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard was launched in 2004 to empower this generation of creative scientists to transform medicine. The Broad Institute seeks to describe all the molecular components of life and their connections; discover the molecular basis of major human diseases; develop effective new approaches to diagnostics and therapeutics; and disseminate discoveries, tools, methods, and data openly to the entire scientific community.
Founded by MIT, Harvard, Harvard-affiliated hospitals, and the visionary Los Angeles philanthropists Eli and Edythe L. Broad, the Broad Institute includes faculty, professional staff, and students from throughout the MIT and Harvard biomedical research communities and beyond, with collaborations spanning over a hundred private and public institutions in more than 40 countries worldwide. For further information about the Broad Institute, go to http://www.broadinstitute.org.


2. About Colorado State University (CSU)

Founded in 1870 as the Colorado Agricultural College, CSU is now among the nation's leading research universities. Located in Fort Collins, CSU currently enrolls more than 33,000 students, and has more than 1,800 faculty members working in eight colleges.
CSU is recognized as a premier research institution and routinely ranks as one of the top American universities without a medical school in research expenditures. In Fiscal Year 2017, CSU research expenditures totaled $338 million; this was the 10th consecutive year research expenditures at the university have topped $300 million. More information is available at www.colostate.edu.


3. About The University of Chicago

The University of Chicago is a leading academic and research institution that has driven new ways of thinking since its founding in 1890. As an intellectual destination, the University draws scholars and students from around the world to its home in Hyde Park and campuses around the globe. The University provides a distinctive educational experience, empowering individuals to challenge conventional thinking and pursue research that produces new understanding and breakthroughs with global impact.


4. About the Global Health Innovative Technology Fund

The first of its kind in Japan, the GHIT Fund is a public-private partnership between the Japanese government, multiple pharmaceutical companies, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Wellcome Trust, and UNDP. Launched in April 2013, the organization utilizes Japanese research and development (R&D) to fight neglected diseases. GHIT Fund invests and manages a portfolio of development partnerships aimed at neglected diseases that afflict the world’s poorest people. GHIT Fund mobilizes Japanese pharmaceutical companies and academic and research organizations to engage in the effort to get new medicines, vaccines, and diagnostic tools to people who need them most. For more information, please visit: www.ghitfund.org.


5. About TB Alliance

TB Alliance is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to finding faster-acting and affordable drug regimens to fight tuberculosis (TB). Through innovative science and with partners around the globe, we aim to ensure equitable access to faster, better TB cures that will advance global health and prosperity. TB Alliance operates with support from Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Germany’s Federal Ministry of Education and Research through KfW, Global Health Innovative Technology Fund, Irish Aid, Indonesia Health Fund, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, United Kingdom Department for International Development, United States Agency for International Development, and the United States Food and Drug Administration.