Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV) is recognized as the leading product development partnership (PDP) in the field of antimalarial drug research and development. It was established as a foundation in 1999 and is registered in Switzerland. Its mission is to reduce the burden of malaria in disease-endemic countries by discovering, developing, and facilitating the delivery of new, effective, and affordable antimalarial drugs. To date, it is estimated that almost 3 million lives have been saved by MMV-co-developed medicines.
FSG has been a continuous strategic partner with MMV since 2003 (and FSG managing directors have been involved since its inception). Our most recent work in 2021 has been two-fold:
- Supporting MMV’s Scientific leadership team and board with the development of a malaria Research and Development portfolio strategy for 2021–2023. A key element of the strategy involved the definition of a sustainable investment strategy that would allow MMV to support a balanced portfolio of projects and products. The FSG team conducted a needs assessment based on the latest data from the World Malaria Report and other recent expert perspectives on the evolution of malaria in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). The assessment considered in particular underserved populations such as rural communities, children and pregnant women, control efforts, and technological developments. This involved facilitating a series of working sessions with subteams of the MMV board who wished to have a deep and meaningful role in the strategy process. They also examined changes in the operating environment affecting funding and license to operate. This led to a strategic prioritization of MMV assets and activities based on unmet health needs and impact; risk profile; and available support.
- Partnering with a multisectoral MMV team to advance their refreshed Malaria in Mothers and Babies (MiMBa) strategy (which FSG supported from 2019–2021). The refreshed MiMBa strategy committed to adopting a more inclusive approach to the entire research and development process to better serve the needs of pregnant and lactating women—a population underserved by the current standard of care yet systematically excluded from the research process. In 2021, FSG supported the ecosystem activation thread of the strategy, supporting the facilitation and preparation of a consultative working session with key opinion leaders from across the global ecosystem of stakeholders, including ethicists, medical practitioners, and researchers in malaria-endemic countries. This is a critical step toward shifting mindsets from exclusion to inclusion and preparing the way for future inclusive clinical trial design. To further amplify the impact of the work and elevate the topic, FSG also co-authored a comment published in Malaria Journal in partnership with MMV (2022), proposing approaches to the discovery and development of future antimalarial drugs suitable for pregnant and lactating women.
MMV is a nonprofit foundation created to discover, develop, and deliver new, effective, and affordable antimalarial drugs for the world’s most vulnerable populations. Founded in 1999 and headquartered in Geneva, MMV receives public and donor funding to support its mission. Its success in research, development, access, and product management relies on its extensive network of more than 375 pharmaceutical, academic, and endemic-country partners in 50 countries. MMV’s vision is a world in which innovative medicines will cure and protect the most vulnerable and under-served populations at risk of malaria, and ultimately help to eradicate this terrible disease.