An innovative response to the challenge of financing global health research and development.

The Global Health Investment Fund (GHIF) is a $108 million social impact investment fund designed to provide financing to advance the development of drugs, vaccines, diagnostics and other interventions against diseases that disproportionately burden low- and middle-income countries.  GHIF supports late-stage innovations for public health challenges such as malaria, pre-eclampsia, cholera, HIV and river blindness, with an emphasis on infectious diseases and maternal/infant health issues that cause significant morbidity and mortality in resource-limited settings.  GHIF may also make investments that improve or expand access to existing products—such as developing pediatric formulations of approved therapeutics or improving the stability of widely-used global health vaccines.

As an investment fund with a limited time-horizon, GHIF seeks opportunities that have a high probability of successful commercialization within two or three years.  Products with “dual market” potential are of greatest interest; i.e., those that will have a clear impact on public health in developing countries but also have value in high-income countries.  High-volume / low-margin products, such as essential vaccines, are also of significant interest.

GHIF employs a range of investment structures including mezzanine debt, convertible debt, preferred equity and project financing with an average investment target of approximately $10 million per project.  Each GHIF project must advance the Fund’s social impact objectives and demonstrate the ability to achieve commercial success.

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The Global Health Challenge

Advances in medical science over the last half century have achieved real reductions in child and maternal mortality, but mothers and children continue to die from conditions that could be treatable. World Health Organisation figures show that nearly 15 million people die each year from infectious diseases and nutritional deficiencies. According to the last estimate, in 2013, 6.3 million children died before reaching their fifth birthday. The most common causes of child and infant mortality include pneumonia, diarrhea, birth complications and malaria. Diseases such as meningitis and measles also still take hundreds of thousands of children’s lives each year and are contagious globally.

Solving problems of such magnitude requires new and affordable medicines. The opportunity is not merely to protect the gains that have already been achieved in improving health and reducing mortality, but to make far greater gains. Additional funds are needed to bring the pipeline of interventions currently under development to those in need. These have the potential to save millions of lives each year, reduce pressure on health systems and sustain the global health improvements in the future.

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