Venture Capital: Marquee Investors Put $300M Into Adjuvant Capital For Overlooked Diseases
Diseases such as malaria, shigella, hookworm, tuberculosis, and Lassa fever affect millions of people in the poorer countries.
Adjuvant Capital, which finances cures for “high-burden and neglected diseases,” announced today its raise of an oversubscribed $300 million fund from big names in pharma and philanthropy. Investors in the new venture fund included Merck (NYSE: MRK), Novartis (SWX: NOVN), IFC, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Children’s Investment Fund Foundation, Dalio Philanthropies, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, ELMA Investments Ltd., Ford Foundation, MacArthur Foundation, Global Health Investment Corporation, CDC Group, Anthos Fund & Asset Management, and others. (Fierce Biotech)
The new fund will tackle global diseases that Wall Street, venture capitalists, and life science companies have overlooked. However, these conditions still affect large portions of the global population living in the more economically backward areas.
The West is not immune from these medical risks
“Billions of people around the world live under constant assault from diseases like malaria, shigella, hookworm, tuberculosis, and Lassa fever, yet Wall Street and Silicon Valley typically pay little attention to these widespread challenges,” said Glenn Rockman, managing partner at Adjuvant Capital, in a statement. “As viruses like Ebola, Zika, and SARS-CoV-2 have clearly demonstrated, wealthy countries are vulnerable to these pathogens as well.”
“Our new fund will finance cutting-edge research so we are better prepared for threats old and new alike. The ultimate goal – save or improve millions of lives by bringing urgently-needed drugs, vaccines, diagnostics, and medical devices to market.”
Adjuvant aims to fund the development of cures to high-burden and neglected infectious diseases, maternal and child health, and reproductive and sexual health.
Infectious diseases are a focus area. These include the “big three” (HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria) and tropical diseases like schistosomiasis and onchocerciasis. Also under the scanner are pandemic threats such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), Lassa fever, and anti-microbial resistance (AMR).
Adjuvant’s investing strategy
Adjuvant has identified that life sciences investment has been insufficient in countries moving to provide healthcare for their low-income populations. Additionally, billions of people are moving up into the middle class as a result of improving economics.
According to Adjuvant, these are markets that promise opportunities in healthcare.
“Our unique focus targets innovations poised to deliver unprecedented health outcomes in underserved markets to generate truly differentiated “double-bottom-line” returns for our investors,” the firm says on its website.
These investments are made on the condition that any successfully commercialized products are made broadly accessible to underserved populations in low- and middle-income countries.
To date, Adjuvant has invested in 14 companies for “high-impact” indications ranging from melioidosis to COVID-19.
Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons
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