Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV) was launched on 3 November 1999. Following a year-long international recruitment process facilitated by the World Health Organization, Chris Hentschel was selected as founding President and CEO.
In 1999, the pipeline for new antimalarials was virtually empty. The possibility of profit in antimalarial drug development was considered too low to attract traditional pharmaceutical investment. Malaria was killing 1-2 million people a year - most of them children under the age of five and pregnant women from the poorest regions of the world. With initial seed finance of US$ 4 million from the Government of Switzerland, UK Department for International Development, the Government of the Netherlands, The World Bank and Rockefeller Foundation, Dr. Hentschel's first task was to further develop and then execute MMV's start up business plan.
The MMV plan embraced the public-private partnership model (also know as the PDP model ) as the most efficient way to bridge the gap in new drugs for malaria and neglected diseases.
Time has proven this to be so, with refinements of the model being a feature of Dr. Hentschel's decade plus leadership. Highlights from this period can be seen in the slide below and in MMV's 10th anniversary book . By 2014 the mortality due to malaria had approximately halved compared to 1999 and total eradication become the global goal.
Example of a ACT drug launch in Uganda