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Adjuvant announces $300m venture fund to improve public health

Africa Global Funds
Feb. 23, 2021, 10:05 p.m.

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Adjuvant Capital has announced an oversubscribed $300m Global Health Technology Fund, focused on accelerating the development of medical innovations for historically overlooked public health challenges.

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Adjuvant Capital has announced an oversubscribed $300m Global Health Technology Fund, focused on accelerating the development of medical innovations for historically overlooked public health challenges.

Launched in 2019, Adjuvant's debut fund will support promising new technologies for indications that the venture capital industry has largely ignored.

"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.

"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, with the ultimate goal of saving or improving millions of lives by bringing urgently-needed drugs, vaccines, diagnostics, and medical devices to market."

Adjuvant has already backed 14 companies developing technologies for high-impact indications ranging from rare conditions, such as melioidosis, to widespread global emergencies, such as COVID-19. 

Each Adjuvant investment includes binding commitments to make any successfully commercialized products broadly accessible to underserved populations in low- and middle-income countries.

Adjuvant has assembled a unique coalition of conventional and catalytic investors, many of whom are also contributing scientific advice and emerging markets expertise.

The investors in the fund include Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Anthos Fund & Asset Management, Beacon Pointe Advisors, CDC Group, the Children's Investment Fund Foundation, Dalio Philanthropies, the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, ELMA Investments, the Ford Foundation, the International Finance Corporation, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Global Health Investment Corporation (with funding from the Government of Germany through KfW), Laerdal Million Lives Fund, Merck, Novartis, RockCreek, Sonanz, and The Sorenson Impact Foundation, among others.

"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 Mark Suzman, CEO of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. "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.”

Based in the US, Adjuvant pursues the most promising technologies and talent globally, with investments in Nigeria, Bangladesh, and China, in addition to collaborations in India and Western Europe.

As such, in Nigeria, the fund invested in Lagos-based 54gene, which is using pan-African genetic data to drive discoveries in drug and vaccine development.

"Accelerating the widespread availability of emerging public health innovations is a smart business decision that has the potential to benefit millions of people, especially women and girls, in low-income countries," said Jenny Yip, Managing Partner at Adjuvant Capital.

"We firmly believe that our investment model represents an innovative way to benefit both our investors and society at large.”

Nick O’Donohoe, CEO at CDC Group, added: The Children's Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF) is proud to have been an early investor in Adjuvant's debut fund. Our belief in its strategy of backing new, innovative and price appropriate solutions to neglected diseases – which tend to disproportionately impact people in low and middle income countries (LMICs) – is today more relevant than ever. The Fund's strategy strongly aligns with our own belief in promoting health equity for the most economically disadvantaged, particularly children and women in LMICs. Adjuvant's impressive management team have been able to build a mission-aligned portfolio at significant pace, that is eminently scalable on both impact and return measures, which is the essence of impact investing."

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