Working to address inequities in global health

Medicines Development for Global Health (MDGH) is an independent not-for-profit company dedicated to the development of medicines for those who need them most.


Our company

We address health inequity by researching, developing and delivering new and improved medicines for diseases disproportionately affecting low- and middle-income countries.

MDGH was founded by Mark Sullivan in 2005. Since then, we have demonstrated that we can assemble the resources, collaborators and financing required to develop and register new medicines for infectious diseases.

A significant milestone for our company was US FDA approval of moxidectin for the treatment of river blindness in 2018, making it the first medicine approved to treat river blindness (onchocerciasis) in 20 years. In 2020, we secured the global rights to CC-11050 (AMG 634) from Amgen, an investigational treatment that holds promise in tackling two challenging diseases: tuberculosis and leprosy type 2 reactions.

How we work

Our not-for-profit model

The majority of new medicines are developed for diseases that are prevalent in high-income countries as the potential returns on an approved medicine offset the high cost and risk of development. This model disadvantages the world’s poorest populations – according to the World Health Organization, an estimated two billion people do not have access to even the most basic of essential medicines. 


CMOs: Contract Manufacturing Organisation. An organisation contracted by MDGH to manufacture, test, package, control, or distribute/warehouse any active pharmaceutical ingredient or drug product.

Research institutes and academia: Public, private and non-profit organisations, including universities, that conduct biomedical research and clinical research activities.

PDPs: Product Development Partnerships. Non-profit organisations that develop new health technologies for populations affected by poverty-related neglected diseases in collaboration with academic and public research institutions, the private sector, governments, and civil society organisations.

Pharma consulting: Independent contractors and private organisations providing general consulting advice in support of MDGH pharmaceutical development programs and global health activities.

The MDGH development model is resource-efficient and cost-effective, and is intended to reduce the time and expense of bringing medicines through development. It is built on identifying and integrating the necessary expertise from each part of the development pathway at the time that expertise is needed. We undertake product development under the strictest of global regulatory standards to achieve and maintain regulatory approval, and we work with partners to ensure the delivery of medicines to those who need them most.

In our model, the strongest elements of product development partnerships (PDPs) and the traditional biopharmaceutical industry are combined, allowing us to focus on developing and delivering medicines to those most in need while maintaining self-determination as a not-for-profit company. While we engage academia and industry partners in our work, we do not require a pharmaceutical company partner because we can undertake all phases of product development in-house.

Funding the future

How we finance our work

MDGH is a not-for-profit company registered with the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) and is endorsed as a Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR, type 1). MDGH has been self-funded from the outset and, as such, has been independent of major philanthropic funders, governments and companies. We have therefore preserved the right to self-determine our projects of interest.

When taking on the sponsorship of moxidectin in 2014, we leveraged the potential value of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) priority review voucher (PRV) to obtain an investment from the Global Health Investment Fund (GHIF). Furthermore, in 2017, funding for moxidectin as a potential treatment for scabies was raised from Australian social impact investors. After receiving a PRV, we sold it to Novo Nordisk and repaid our investors. The excess of these funds continues to support paediatric and field use studies, manufacturing requirements and development in relation to another disease, scabies. As part of the investment from GHIF, both parties agreed to pricing, quality and supply obligations for moxidectin, and also to establish and co-fund a jointly owned company called Atticus Medical Pty Ltd. Atticus Medical is providing MDGH with some of the financial support for further development and delivery of moxidectin for river blindness and scabies.

Use of research and development funds, 2021

We were also successful in receiving two substantial grants from the European and Developing Countries Clinical Trial Partnership in 2019 and 2021, which support additional work on the use of moxidectin in the field and development of a new formulation for very young children, respectively.

As the scope of our work and the potential for impact increases, so does the need for capital. We aim to remain innovative in our approach to fundraising and while we continue to use our financial resources and seek grants, the coming years will see us diversifying funding sources to include philanthropic support.

Support received so far

We are deeply grateful to the following foundations and organisations for their investment of time and resources, and their commitment to improving public health.

TDR, the UNICEF/UNDP/World Bank/WHO Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases

In 2014, MDGH licensed from the TDR the worldwide rights to moxidectin for all human health applications. The company also assumed full responsibility for moxidectin’s registration for onchocerciasis as well as its development for other neglected tropical diseases. The close collaboration between TDR and MDGH has been critical in this process.

The Global Health Investment Fund

The GHIF invested US$13M in 2015 to support MDGH’s work for completing the US FDA dossier for the registration of moxidectin for the treatment of onchocerciasis.

Australian Trade Commission

In 2016, MDGH was awarded an AU$1.5M grant from The Australian Trade Commission to support the clinical development of moxidectin for scabies treatment and elimination via the Australian Tropical Medicines Commercialisation Program. Matching funding was provided by the GHIF.

The European and Developing Countries Clinical Trial Partnership

In 2019 and 2021, EDCTP provided two substantial grants to MDGH and partners: €4.6M for additional clinical trials comparing efficacy and safety of single or annual and biannual moxidectin or ivermectin treatment, and €2.8M for the development of a paediatric formulation of moxidectin. The MoxiMultiDoseMod (RIA2017NCT-1843) and MiniMox (RIA2019PD-2880) projects are part of the EDCTP2 Programme supported by the European Union.

Amgen Inc.

In 2020, MDGH licensed CC-11050 (AMG 634) from Amgen. MDGH acknowledges the generosity of Amgen to make it possible for MDGH to take on the CC-11050 program and for their continued support of the two Phase 2 clinical trials in tuberculosis and leprosy type 2 reactions, by generously providing CC-11050 to both studies and funding the leprosy study.

Additionally, MDGH has received support from private foundations and impact investors for the moxidectin in scabies program:

Australian Philanthropic Services Foundation Pty Ltd
Crothers Walton Foundation
Este Louise Pty Ltd
Konia Pty Ltd
Roberts Family Foundation
Sunshine Foundation Pty Ltd
Wolf Capital Nominees Pty Ltd

Our collaborators

MDGH develops and maintains strong relationships and collaborations that generate both trust and respect among our global public health colleagues. We are open to partnerships with biopharmaceutical companies, PDPs, civil society organisations, and manufacturers.

Interested in
collaborating with us?

If you would like more information about the work we do and how your organisation could collaborate with MDGH, please contact us here:

Support us

MDGH is interested in discussing potential partnership with family foundations, public donors, and individuals to help us achieve the goal of addressing health inequity with new, innovative and affordable medicines. To find out how you can help, please contact us here: