NTD Innovation Center


The widening gap between the poor and the wealthy has led to increasing crime rates, disturbances of public peace, corruption, and a rise in extremism.
Disintegration of health and sanitation in the poorer regions is of great concern for global health. The reach of endemic diseases including parasitic diseases has been expanding, not only within regions, but also into wider area as shown by the recent outbreak of Ebola hemorrhagic fever in West Africa. These health issues need to be dealt with on a global rather than local level.
To be more specific, a global support framework is needed to implement measures to mitigate against the spread and occurrence of chronic infectious diseases including parasitic diseases that affect the poor, in developing and tropical regions; regions that account for 80% of the world’s population. One continual challenge is in motivating pharmaceutical companies to develop drugs for these less profitable markets. That is the reason why we call those diseases as neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). Japan has been a leader among the G7 countries in supporting major NTDs programs such as the "Hashimoto Parasite Control Initiative" and the " Pacific Programme for the Elimination of Lymphatic Filariasis" in this area for over 20 years, but more needs to be done. People expect Institute of Tropical Medicine (NEKKEN) should take a leading role in this area in Japan. Therefore, in fiscal year 2016, we established a center to promote drug development and research in Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) to promote research activities and collaboration between industry, academia and government.


At WHO and G-7 Summit, industrialized countries, as members of the global community, should be the vanguard in establishing NTDs measures.
What is most needed to control NTDs is a close cooperation between developing countries impacted by these diseases and advanced countries with research and development capabilities. Drawing on this collaborative approach, we are pursuing innovative research for diagnosis, treatment, and prevention methods.
To this end, it is essential to provide researchers with comprehensive data and know-how to allow them to discover the “seeds” that will lead from basic research to preclinical and early clinical trials.
We have set the following goals, 1) providing training courses with continuously updated knowledge every year, 2) staying abreast of research trends and grant availability, and providing researchers with necessary information, 3) active promotion using websites and e-mail magazines to widely disseminate information on related research inside and outside the NEKKEN. By improving the research environment in this manner and by strengthening collaboration with private enterprise, we intend to promote a stable and sustainable research and development system.

What we are doing?

a) Training program management
・Three educational programs (research ethics, drug development, medical economics)
International Course on Research Ethics in May(3 days), Diploma Course on Research & Development of Products to meet Public Health Needs in August (7 days), Introductory course of health economy(planned)

b) Information Gathering
・NTDi Center Symposiums organized with GHIT and AMED
・Establishment of R & D portfolio system

>Present on going projects.

  1. Anti Chagas compounds (Astellas)
  2. Measles based recombinant Dengue Vaccine (GHIT)
  3. RAMP diagnostic Kit for Ebola (Toshiba)
  4. Simultaneous surveillance system for NTDs by multiplex beads assay(AMED)
  5. POC system for yellow fever and Rift Valley diagnostics (AMED:SATREPS)
  6. House shield bed net(Sumitomo)
  7. Diagnostic Kit for active infection of Schistosomasis(AMED)
  8. Shiunko for cutaneous Leich maniasi(Ohkusa)
  9. Anti Malaria Kampo medicine (Toyama)
  10. Anti Malaria development based on an open innovation platform(MEXT)
  11. Pheumocaccal conjugate vaccine (Gates)

c) Nurturing promising research seeds
One of our mission is to support promissing projects in our research stations of Kenya and Vietnam.
In 2016, we supported a schistosomasis epidemiology research in Kenya and a collaborative research with Toyama University on Kampo medicine.

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  • Leader and Professor Satoshi Kaneko
  • Committie at NEKKEN Juntra Laothavorn
  • Committie at NEKKEN Nguyen Huy Tien
  • Committie at N.U Yusuke Fujiwara(Center for Industry, University and Government coooperation)
  • Expert adviser Kazuyo Ichimori(LF-NTD Unit)
  • Staff Eiko Sanefuji

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