Foundations back $300 million venture fund for global health

Foundations back $300 million venture fund for global health

Investment firm Adjuvant Capital has announced a $300 million fund focused on accelerating medical innovations that address historically overlooked public health challenges. 

Launched in 2019, the fund will support promising new technologies aimed at treating or preventing diseases or conditions that for the most part have been ignored by venture capital. Investors in the oversubscribed fund include the Doris Duke Charitable, FordBill & Melinda Gates, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthurChildren's Investment Fund, and Sorenson Impact foundations; Dalio PhilanthropiesELMA Investments Ltd.Anthos Fund & Asset ManagementCDC Group; Global Health Investment Corporation (with funding from the Government of Germany through KfW); International Finance Corporation; and Merck and Novartis.

The fund's portfolio includes several companies working to develop new solutions for rabies, yellow fever, group B streptococcus, non-hormonal contraception, chikungunya, herpes, respiratory syncytial virus, HIV, and COVID-19. They include New York-based Codagenix, which uses computational biology to "rationally design" vaccines for intractable public health challenges; California-based ChromaCode, which leverages machine learning and artificial intelligence to boost the throughput of molecular diagnostic equipment; Lagos-based 54gene, which is using pan-African genetic data to drive discoveries in drug and vaccine development; and Beijing-based Yisheng Biopharma, which is working to address chronic supply issues for the rabies vaccine market.

"A wide array of private, public, and philanthropic partners have come together to help ensure the most promising health technologies and services are available to people most in need," said Gates Foundation CEO Mark Suzman. "There is an important role for investment capital to play in stimulating innovation and making markets work for the poor, so that everyone has the chance to live a healthy, productive life."

(Photo credit: Adjuvant Capital)