Drug giant GlaxoSmithKline is joining the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, JPMorgan Chase, other firms and other individual investors in launching a $94 million global fund that will focus on combating diseases.

The launch of the Global Health Investment Fund was disclosed early Monday. 

Noted Dr. Moncef Slaoui, chairman Vaccines and R&D at GSK (Nyse: GSK): “I am convinced the GHIF will be instrumental in helping bring cutting edge innovation and solutions to diseases of the developing world and this is one reason why we are participating. This collaboration demonstrates that with an innovative structure, a fund with a humanitarian focus can appeal to a broader range of investors.”

The Canadian and German governments and the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation also joined the fund. Other backers include the International Finance, Merck, Pfizer Inc.’s foundation, Storebrand ASA, and qualified individuals.

“We invest in global health because we know that when health improves, life improves by every measure,” said Bill Gates, the co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

The Global Health Investment Fund will tackle diseases including malaria, tuberculosis and HIV, as well as maternal and infant mortality.

The private financing seeks to address the fact that global health funding barely grew last year. The U.S. and other governments cut their aid to programs in developing nations by 4.4 percent, according to the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation.

“The Global Health Investment Fund demonstrates the potential for innovative collaborations and thoughtful financial structures to mobilize new sources of capital for social challenges,” said Jamie Dimon, chairman and chief executive officer of JPMorgan Chase. “This product brings a diverse group of investors together around the shared objective of developing life-saving technologies in a financially sustainable way.”

Given the risks of investing in the clinical development of new technologies, the Gates Foundation and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency will partially offset potential losses in the fund, which will seek a financial return for investors by targeting technologies with public health applications in both developed and emerging markets.

Lion’s Head Global Partners LLP, a London-based asset manager specializing in sustainable development, will be responsible for originating, managing and exiting the fund’s portfolio investments.

GSK operates its North American headquarters in RTP.