Beijing, 16 June 2023 (TDI): The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is delighted to announce an enhanced partnership with the Beijing Municipal Government and Tsinghua University in support of the Global Health Drug Discovery Institute (GHDDI).

This collaboration aims to revolutionize health outcomes worldwide by developing life-saving therapies for infectious diseases that disproportionately affect the world’s poorest communities, such as tuberculosis and malaria.

A staggering 90% of the global burden of infectious diseases falls on low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), yet only 10% of global funding for drug research and development is allocated to address these critical health challenges. This stark disparity underscores the urgent need to prioritize global health equality.

GHDDI, established in 2016 as China’s first public-private partnership between the Beijing Municipal Government, Tsinghua University, and the Gates Foundation, is dedicated to addressing this pressing research gap.

The Gates Foundation has committed to providing US$50 million in funding to GHDDI over the next five years. This generous contribution will be matched by the Beijing Municipal Government, fortifying the institute’s drug discovery capabilities. Tsinghua University will continue to provide invaluable support to GHDDI, including the establishment and sharing of research platforms, research translation, and talent development.

The announcement of this significant commitment coincided with a visit by Bill Gates, co-chair of the Gates Foundation, to GHDDI, where he delivered a compelling speech titled, “The Power of Innovation to Solve Global Challenges.”

GHDDI’s primary focus lies in the development of new drugs to combat communicable diseases, particularly tuberculosis and malaria, which disproportionately affect vulnerable populations such as women, children, and those living with HIV/AIDS in LMICs.

Global Health Drug Discovery Institute (GHDDI)

In the past six years, GHDDI has established a cutting-edge research center and fostered a robust global drug discovery network, yielding promising preclinical and clinical assets. The institute’s preclinical pipeline currently encompasses over 10 projects, including an innovative antimalarial candidate developed in collaboration with Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV) and Malaria Drug Accelerator (MalDA). This candidate has exhibited considerable potential in reducing drug resistance, minimizing dosage, and even preventing malaria.

Furthermore, GHDDI has engaged in fruitful partnerships with renowned international research institutions, resulting in the discovery of a series of novel compounds that display synergistic effects with existing anti-tuberculosis drugs.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Beijing Municipal Government, and Tsinghua University are steadfast in their commitment to advancing global health. By harnessing the power of innovation and collaboration, this renewed partnership will catalyze the discovery of life-saving therapies and contribute to a more equitable world, where no one is left behind in the fight against infectious diseases.

Bill Gates also met President Xi Jinping and this is the first US interaction with President Xi in 2023.