British International Investment

Kelix Bio Limited

North AfricaSouth AsiaConsumer - Health

Kelix Bio (formerly Zanzibar Pharma) is a specialty generic pharmaceuticals business focused on emerging markets. The company aims to develop and commercialise affordable products in countries historically deprived of access to such medications.

Our investment

Description of the investment.

We invested $100 million into a specialised pharmaceuticals platform to address the constrained availability of high-quality medicines throughout Africa due to the lack of competition.

We joined with Development Partners International, and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development to bring together an Egyptian pharmaceuticals manufacturer with an Indian generic drugs company to create a new platform to introduce lower cost generic drugs into Egypt, and then on the African continent. Together, the three founding investors have committed an initial $250 million of capital that has been used to fund the acquisition and combination of the two companies.

In 2022 we made a further investment of $50 million into the platform to continue support its expansion in Africa via the acquisition of a Moroccan generics manufacturer, Pharmaceutical Institute. The three founding investors have committed a total of $200 million in this second round of capital raise.

Impact information

Applies to investments made from 2019 onwards. The tabs in this section define what we expect to achieve through the investment, assessing the potential impact of the investment against six dimensions of impact. You can find more details on our methodology of assessing impact here.



Improve health outcomes including reducing mortality from non-communicable diseases (SDG 3.4); and support the achievement of universal health coverage (SDG 3.8).



We will help create a platform that will introduce lower cost generic drugs into Africa’s health systems, increasing affordability and access to high quality oncology and critical care medicines. By introducing generic drugs into markets dominated by originators, this reduces average market prices, resulting in healthcare systems savings.


Stakeholder Geography Characteristics


Cancer and critical care patients. Diligence indicates that patients across all socioeconomic groups stand to benefit from our entry into the market.

How much?

Scale Depth/Duration

Health system savings will be broadly distributed across the economy.

Deep impact through life-saving medicines. Savings to the health care system are expected to accrue over the medium term. It is expected that the platform will introduce new generic medicines in Africa at more affordable prices, while fostering local production capacities.


  • Financial additionality: The commercial market does not offer capital in sufficient quantities to meet the company's plans or needs.
  • Value additionality: Our support will help enable a more developmental approach, focusing on introducing generics into Africa, and upholding the highest environmental, social and business integrity standards.
  • Mobilisation: Our expectation is that other investors will follow on in future capital raises.

Grid score

Grid Score

To help us direct our investments, we previously used a tool called the Development Impact Grid. It scored investments out of four, based on two factors: the difficulty of investing in a country and the propensity of the sector to generate employment. This tool was used for investments until the end of 2021. Since 2022 it has been replaced by the Impact Score.



Execution Risk
  • scaling up the business in a highly-regulated environment, while ensuring that Patients are benefiting from the product price savings.

Environmental and social information

  • Environmental and social summary

    A high-level description of the environmental and social aspects of the investment. This may include a summary of key environmental and social risks identified during environmental and social due diligence (ESDD); key elements of an environmental and social action plan (ESAP); or ways in which we plan to support the investee improve environmental and social standards, such as through their environmental and social management system (ESMS); as well as any other priority areas agreed with the investee.

  • Environmental and social risk

    A risk category rating, which indicates the level of environmental and social risk associated with an investment. For an explanation of the categorisations used, see here. We consistently provide an environmental and social risk category for all investments screened from 2023 onwards.

Environmental and social summary

We agreed an ESAP for the seed assets which included the development of a formal ESMS, occupational health and safety measures, waste management and grievance mechanism.

Environmental and social risk


Reporting and Complaints Mechanism

The Reporting and Complaints Mechanism allows anyone outside BII to report alleged breaches of the business integrity or environmental and social provisions of BII’s Policy on Responsible Investing. This includes breaches made by BII, a BII investee, or a portfolio company of a fund in which BII has invested. The Reporting and Complaints Mechanism Rules are available here. Reports and complaints can be submitted by email to [email protected] or by mail. See more details on our Reporting and Complaints Mechanism here.

For any other general enquiries contact us at [email protected]

  • Key facts

    Last updated

    When the last quarterly update of the website database occurred.

    June 2024
    Project number

    An identifier number shared by investments in the same project.


    The current status of the investment (green flag for active and red flag for exited).


    The geographical region where the country is located. We currently invest in Africa, South Asia, South East Asia and the Caribbean. In 2023, BII’s investment mandate was extended allowing it to invest in regional funds linked to Ukraine, with the majority of activity expected to begin post-war. Investments outside these regions were made prior to 2012 under previous investment mandates.

    North Africa, South Asia

    The countries where the investment delivers impact. Where impact is delivered in multiple countries, this is indicated.

    Egypt, India, Morocco

    We prioritise those sectors that facilitate development and need our capital the most. Our priority sectors contribute towards many of the Sustainable Development Goals. They range from investing in the power infrastructure that will provide people with better access to electricity, to investing in financial institutions that direct capital to the individuals and businesses that need it the most.

    Consumer - Health

    We provide capital in the following ways: directly – through direct equity, direct debt, guarantees and other non-intermediated financial instruments; and indirectly – principally through investment funds.

    For direct investments and fund investments, this is the date BII committed capital to the investments. This is typically the date on which legal agreements are signed by all parties.

    For the portfolio companies of our fund investments, this is the date (either the month or the quarter) on which the fund committed capital to the portfolio company.

    For direct equity investments, this is the date at which British International Investment exited the investment.

    For debt investments, this is the date at which the final debt repayment was made.

    For funds, this is the date at which the fund was terminated.

    For underlying fund investments, this is the date at which the fund manager exited the investment.

    The total amount committed, per financial instrument, per investment, on the date BII becomes subject to a binding legal obligation to provide funding or assume a contingent liability. This information is provided in US dollars.

    For direct investments, this is the amount that BII has committed to the business or project. For fund investments, this is the amount BII has committed to the fund.

    The currency in which the investment was made.

    Investment type :
    Start date :
    January 2022
    Amount :
    Currency of investment :

    The company or investment fund’s place of incorporation.

    United Kingdom

Related investments made by BII into this company:

Investment name Commitment Region Sector Start date Status
Investment 01 $100m North Africa, South Asia Consumer - Health June 2020 Active

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