MMV was launched on 3 November 1999, 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.
In 1999 the pipeline for new antimalarials was virtually empty. The possibility of profit in antimalarial drug development was considered too low to attract pharmaceutical investment. Malaria was killing 1-2 million people a year - most of them children under 5 and pregnant women from the poorest regions of the world.
The drugs they were using no longer worked. Motivated by this glaring inequity, and the need to act in the face of a projected public health disaster due to escalating drug resistance, MMV was launched and since has proved that the PDP model is the most efficient way to bridge the gap in new drugs for malaria.