Postcards from the Hallways: Global Health Innovation



River blindness affects 37 million people, most of them in Sub-Saharan Africa. It is transmitted by the bite of a black fly that lives near river banks. Those affected lose their ability to work and care for their families. Today it is devastating—but also has the potential to be eradicated by Moxidectin, a new drug being developed by Medicines Development for Global Health (MDGH), a not-for-profit pharmaceuticals development company.

MDGH grew with $10 million of support from the Global Health Investment Fund (GHIF), a vehicle the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation launched in 2012 to find business solutions to deadly communicable diseases affecting low-income populations in the developing world. The GHIF’s innovative investment is crucial to support the research, testing, and commercialization of Moxidectin and other high-potential drugs, vaccines, and diagnostics.

IFC’s $10 million investment and environmental and social advice helped the GHIF attract other investors, surpassing its original funding target. Today the GHIF manages $108 million. Its investee companies are fighting not just river blindness, but HIV, malaria,cholera, and other diseases as well.


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By investing in this critical sector, IFC is contributing to improved access to high-quality care for people in developing countries.


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