“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.” Glenn Rockman and Jenny Yip believe this needs to change and have announced a new oversubscribed $300M 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. “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 Capital 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.
To finance these ambitious goals, Adjuvant has assembled a unique coalition of conventional and catalytic investors, many of whom are also contributing scientific advice and emerging markets expertise. These investors—which include traditional asset managers, multinational biopharmaceutical companies, development finance institutions, and some of the world’s largest foundations—all hope their balance sheets can increasingly support the march toward a safer, healthier, more equitable global community.
“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.”
In addition to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Adjuvant’s investors include Anthos Fund & Asset Management, Beacon Pointe Advisors, CDC Group, the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation, Dalio Philanthropies, the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, ELMA Investments Ltd., the Ford Foundation, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), 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.
“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.”