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Investing in Life Sciences in Emerging Markets

January 2012


Over the past decade, IFC has invested more than $450 million in life sciences businesses in developing countries around the world. IFC plays a critical role in many countries where poor populations are unable to overcome the burden of serious endemic diseases.  IFC is financing growth opportunities, encouraging local production, investing in innovative research, and building partnerships. Our global leadership helps ensure environmental, social, and ethical stewardship in a changing industry—especially one in which emerging economies have become increasingly significant players.


Meeting the Millennium Development Goals; Combating HIV/AIDS, Malaria, and Tuberculosis


IFC‘s support for the life sciences industry contributes to the global effort to stop the spread of deadly diseases, one of the eight Millennium Development Goals. Our work is encouraging the private sector to devote additional resources to combat such diseases as HIV/AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis. Our client companies are participating in this mission to halt and begin to reverse the spread of HIV/AIDS and the incidence of malaria and other major diseases, such as, tuberculosis.


Expertise Across the Life Sciences Industry


In addition to our full suite of financial products, IFC’s sectoral expertise, regional knowledge, and leadership in sustainability offer significant value to clients. We invest in several broad categories: generic pharmaceutical manufacturers, bio-pharmaceutical companies, retail and wholesale distributors, medical device producers, institutions combating neglected diseases, contract research organizations, and venture capital funds focusing on life sciences. We target investments globally with a growing number of projects in China and India, which are two of the world’s emerging sources of pharmaceutical and bio-pharmaceutical products and technological and scientific capacity.


IFC’s investments focus on three strategic areas: generic life sciences firms, companies innovating in related intellectual property (“research-driven” firms), and organizations addressing neglected diseases, as well as the constituent technology in each area. This strategy recognizes the importance of cultivating a vibrant life sciences sector in developing countries in order to improve access and affordability for treatment and preventive care, particularly for the debilitating diseases associated with poverty.


Business Contacts:

Sabina Cosic,
Monique Mrazek,


Media Contact:

Elizabeth Price,

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