Global Health Investment Fund Managing Partner Curt LaBelle Speaks at Priority Review Voucher Summit
Panel presentation covers PRV program’s impact on neglected disease research
NEW YORK – November 3, 2016 – Curt LaBelle, MD, Managing Partner of the Global Health Investment Fund, led a panel discussion yesterday on the impact of the FDA’s priority review voucher (PRV) program at the PRV Summit, held in Arlington, VA on November 2, 2016. The panel “Priority Review Vouchers: A New Paradigm for Funding Research” covered how the PRV program has changed the way researchers and investors can approach the development of new drugs and vaccines for otherwise neglected tropical diseases (NTDs).
“We have seen the potential benefits of the priority review voucher program first hand in working with our portfolio companies,” said Curt LaBelle. “The program provides a vital economic incentive for research into diseases which disproportionately impact low-income countries. We are excited to participate in this discussion and hope it drives continued interest in the program among innovators and investors.”
Under the priority review voucher program, researchers that successfully develop and receive FDA approval for a drug that treats a disease on the PRV list can earn a voucher that entitles them to expedited review for another more commercially promising product. This voucher can either be utilized or sold to a third party, creating a source of potential returns for small companies. The mission of the PRV Summit is to provide attendees with the tools they need to develop a product that meets PRV criteria, as well as to foster a deeper understanding of the program.
In March 2015, the Global Health Investment Fund provided Medicines Development for Global Health (MDGH) with a $10 million investment to facilitate registration of moxidectin for the treatment of onchocerciasis (river blindness) with the US FDA. River blindness, which is targeted by moxidectin, is listed among the diseases eligible for a PRV, thus creating the possibility of a voucher upon FDA approval. The potential social impact of moxidectin is significant, with an estimated 625,000 lives improved per year.
Since 2012, the Global Health Investment Fund has been pioneering the concept of a global healthcare-focused impact fund that directly saves and improves millions of lives while also generating a competitive financial return for investors.
About Global Health Investment Fund:
GHIF is a private investment fund structured by JPMorgan Chase & Co. and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The fund received anchor support from Grand Challenges Canada (funded by the Government of Canada), the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (acting through KfW), the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency and the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation. With an emphasis on late-stage projects, GHIF finances the development of drugs, vaccines and diagnostics for diseases that disproportionately burden low-income populations. Much like a traditional investment fund, GHIF searches for opportunities that will deliver compelling financial returns, while also advancing the fund’s public health mission in underserved markets.