• Awarded: 2005
  • Issue Areas: Health · Health Delivery
  • Region: Central and Southern Asia · Eastern and Southern Africa
  • About the Organization

    The Institute for One World Health, based in San Francisco, was founded in 2000 and became the first non-profit pharmaceutical company in the United States. In 2011, OneWorld Health became a drug development program of PATH, an international non-profit organization that transforms global health through innovation.

    PATH’s drug development program is working to develop and ensure availability and accessibility of safe and effective new medicines for diseases that disproportionately affect people in resource-limited settings.

    It works with partners around the globe to identify potential new medicines for diseases affecting vulnerable populations, assess the safety and effectiveness of investigational medicines, honor international ethical standards for research, collaborate to manufacture and distribute new medicines, and ensure that medicines will be affordable and available for distribution.

    PATH’s current drug development efforts are focused on targeting diarrheal disease, ensuring the supply of malaria treatments, and developing a new tool to stop the spread of HIV.

    Infectious disease remains the leading cause of death in poor countries. Drugs to treat these diseases are not developed because the victims cannot pay.

    IOWH was established as a nonprofit pharmaceutical company, to make drugs for infectious diseases prevalent in the developing world available.

    Many "orphan" diseases can be treated with "orphan" drugs -- drugs that already exist but need to be developed and clinically tested.

    Now a program of PATH, One World Health has developed drugs for kala-azar, leishmaniasis, and a key component for malaria treatment.

    Ambition for Change

    Pharmaceutical companies holding patents for drugs capable of curing infectious diseases consistently develop those drugs.

    Path to Scale

    Merge with Larger Organization

    In 2011, OneWorld Health became an affiliate of PATH, whose mission is improving global health through innovation. This affiliation will enable OneWorld Health to scale and accelerate drug development efforts, including an affordable, stable source of a key malaria treatment drug.

    Business Model

    In partnership with health and development agencies, pharmaceutical researchers, and philanthropists, develop, test, and bring to market drugs and treatments that had been identified through others’ research but left undeveloped due to lack of financial incentives.

    Working for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and as a pharmaceutical executive, Victoria Hale kept coming back to a haunting question: why, in the twenty first century, there could be treatments for any disease, any complaint, in one part of the world, while in others, babies still die of dehydrating diarrhea, and adults die of diseases that could be treated or cured, because those treatments were never developed and brought to market. In 2000 she founded the Institute for OneWorld Health, a nonprofit pharmaceutical company, to ensure that drugs for infectious diseases in the developing world get to the people who need them, regardless of their ability to pay. At the time of the Award, iOWH had completed clinical trials for Paromomycin IM, to treat visceral leishmaniasis, an often-fatal parasitic disease spread by sand flies, and a semisynthetic form of artemisinin , used to treat malaria, and was setting up manufacturing and marketing collaborations. Victoria has since left iOWH and founded a new nonprofit pharmaceutical company, Medicines360, focusing on unmet needs of the world’s women and children.

    Impact & Accomplishments

    • Regulatory approval granted for Paromomycin IM to treat visceral leishmaniasis and expansion of the treatment program from India to Bangladesh and Nepal.
    • Pioneering use of synthetic biology to produce a reliable supply of artemesinin – a key component of malaria treatment – at an affordable price. Semisynthetid artemensinin (PMIM) registered with national drug development agencies of India, Nepal and Bangladesh and included on WHO Essential Medicines List.

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