One world health

Nonprofit pharmaceutical company


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US United States


About the project Edit

In what ways is this project unique and creative? Edit

A mere look at the pharmaceutical industry allows us to understand the uniqueness of OneWorld Health.

First, it is a nonprofit organization which operates in a very lucrative sector. Second, OneWorld Health focuses on the diseases of the poor, namely on the least profitable diseases.

But it is its creative business model that allows OneWorld Health to do so. At the beginning of its activity system, OneWorld Health's scientists uncover promising drug candidates and usher them through clinical trials and regulatory approval. Indeed, OneWorld Health defines itself as a platform where scientists from various pharmaceutical companies and universities can share or donate intellectual property on drugs that would otherwise not be developed for financial reasons. This emphasis on collaboration is a core strength of OneWorld Health which strongly capitalizes on the expertise and resources that each of its members and partners can bring.

Then, the drugs are manufactured and distributed to companies and organizations in the developing world. This is a way of ensuring both affordability and sustainability, while creating employment in developing countries.

OneWorld Health relies on foundation (in particular from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation) and government funding.

What is the social value of this project? Edit

It has been estimated that today only 10% of global spending on health is devoted to diseases or conditions that account for 90% of the global disease burden, encompassing Leishmaniasis, schistosomiasis, onchocerciasis, African sleeping sickness, lymphatic filariasis and Chagas disease.

The first drug development program launched by OneWorld Health involved an off-patent antibiotic that was no longer manufactured to treat visceral leishmaniasis, the second deadliest parasitic disease after malaria, because it was not profitable enough. OneWorld Health got approval to use the medicine in India in 2006.

What is more, encouraging collaborative research in the pharmaceutical sector is another key benefit brought by OneWorld Health.

What is the potential of this project to expand and develop? Edit

The model used by OneWorld Health is highly replicated, as long as strategic partnerships with universities and other pharmaceutical companies can be created.

However, one of the main issues the institute has met so far is the difficulty to ensure accessibility to their drugs. According to Victoria Hale, the greatest challenge has been a bit of a surprise to us technologists: how to deliver new medicines to the people and [get them to] use the medicines correctly. Indeed, developing affordable drugs is only one link of the very complex pharmaceutical value chain, but we can hope that the multiplication of creative initiatives such as OneWorld Health in the healthcare sector will contribute to quickly solve these issues.

What was the triggering factor of this project? Edit

What is the business model of this project? Edit


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