The Open Society Foundations has announced a $6 million impact investment in Univercells SA, a Belgian biotech company, to improve global access to biologics and vaccines through new approaches to drug manufacturing.
Awarded through the Soros Economic Development Fund (SEDF), the foundation's impact investing arm, the funding will support efforts to remove manufacturing bottlenecks in the production of COVID-19 vaccines and help develop distributed manufacturing capacities. Univercells' distributed manufacturing model is designed to decentralize the manufacturing and licensing of vaccines and treatments for diabetes, cancer, and other diseases by creating production capacity in well-situated middle-income countries globally.
"The Open Society Foundations has a long record of supporting global access to essential medicines and treatments," said SEDF director of investments Catherine Cax. "We hope our investment in Univercells will help address structural inequalities in the pharmaceutical industry that result in people in lower and medium-income countries being excluded from timely access to new drugs and therapeutics."