Beijing-based Global Health Drug Discovery Institute to Develop Accessible Innovative Drugs for Developing Nations

Mar 24, 2017

BEIJING - A meeting between the Beijing Municipal Government, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (Gates Foundation), and Tsinghua University officially marked the inauguration of the Global Health Drug Discovery Institute (GHDDI), a non-profit, independent drug research and development institute founded by the three entities.


GHDDI aims to develop accessible, innovative drugs and treatments for developing nations and make enabling resources available for scientists across the globe.

The research structure of GHDDI will bring together resources and expertise from academia and pharmaceutical companies to streamline the process in developing innovative drugs - from initial drug discovery to clinical development. It will have nimble translational platforms across an array of key capabilities such as high throughput screening, medicinal chemistry, pharmacology, structural biology, and computational approaches.

Being based in Beijing, GHDDI will be a significant driving force for the city's growing biomedical and pharmaceutical communities. The Beijing Government plays a critical role in providing financial and policy support to GHDDI which is the first Chinese domestic, non-profit R&D institute adopting a model of Public Private Partnership (PPP). 


According to SUI Zhenjiang, the Deputy Mayor of Beijing, the establishment of GHDDI is groundbreaking in a number of ways. He was positive towards the prospects of GHDDI.

"I hope for GHDDI to focus on addressing the demands of healthcare, advance for innovation and promote international collaboration in science - all the while improving global health," he said. "For us, GHDDI is enthusiastically embraced."


As one of the leading universities in China, Tsinghua University has been taking initiatives to enhance its pharmaceutical science to propel China's nascent biopharmaceutical industry and to create global impact.

"This latest collaboration with the Gates Foundation and the Beijing Municipal Government to establish the Global Health Drug Discovery Institute (GHDDI) in Beijing is a major initiative to promote innovative drug research and to further Tsinghua University's global influence." QIU Yong, the President of Tsinghua University, said. "With the deepening of the tripartite cooperation, Tsinghua will extend the full potential of its talent, research and transformational science, and leverages the comprehensive cross-disciplinary resources to build the institute as a world-class new drug research and transformation platform to make greater contribution in the sector of public and medical health." 


Bill Gates, co-chair and trustee of the Gates Foundation, said, "GHDDI is the foundation's first foray into founding such an institute globally. We hope this cooperation will leverage China's technology R&D capacity, while ensuring that all information and knowledge gained from projects it funds will be promptly and broadly disseminated, and that all global health drugs developed as a result will be made available and accessible at an affordable price to those most in need. The success of this institute will play an important part in winning the fight against infectious diseases that disproportionately affect the poorest in developing countries."


Under the leadership of DING Sheng, Institute Director of GHDDI, Dean of the School of Pharmaceutical Sciences of Tsinghua University and a renowned stem-cell chemical biologist, GHDDI will be an open and collaborative community of scientists with a global focus. "We are currently recruiting top scientists from China and around the world to join the young institute." said DING.


The institute has already assembled a research team and initiated several projects in tuberculosis, malaria and cryptosporidiosis with collaboration with its strategic and technological partner, the California Institute for Biomedical Research (Calibr).

Representatives from the Beijing Municipal Government, Beijing Municipal Science & Technology Commission, Municipal Finance Bureau, Municipal Civil Affairs Bureau, Zhongguancun Administrative Committee, Government of Haidian District, the Gates Foundation, Tsinghua University and Tsinghua University Education Foundation attended the Inauguration Ceremony.