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Oneworld Health

Developing critical treatments for neglected diseases.

Thousands of beneficiaries.

In a sobering statistic, only three percent of the pharmaceutical industry’s research and development budget is dedicated to diseases in the developing world, despite the fact the world’s poorest countries bear 90 percent of the global disease burden. In a bid to address this imbalance, former Food and Drug Administration official Victoria Hale founded OneWorld Health in 2000 – the world’s first non-profit pharmaceutical company. 

Now led by Richard Chin, the San Franciscobased organization is dedicated to discovering, developing and delivering new medicines and vaccines for neglected and poverty-related diseases. OneWorld Health operates as a ‘Product Development Partnership’ with a network structure established specially to pursue the aim of developing high quality treatments and interventions and bringing them to market cost-effectively. 

Though drug development is a necessarily patient endeavor, the organization has already achieved some notable breakthroughs. A new chemical entity to treat pediatric diarrhea is currently undergoing human clinical trials, while a low-cost synthetic alternative to a central malaria treatment ingredient is in use. Similarly, an affordable, safe and effective treatment for Visceral Leishmaniasis – the second largest parasitic killer in the world – has been added to the World Health Organization’s ‘Model List of Essential Medicines’ and approved for use by the Indian government.

(Photo © Jonathan Torgovnik)