Adjuvant Capital today announced an oversubscribed $300 million 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.
Diverse Coalition of Investors Committed to Global Health
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.
Lutz Hegemann, Group Head for Corporate Affairs & Global Health at Novartis, noted that: “As a company focused on science-based innovation to address some of society’s most challenging healthcare issues, we are pleased to invest in Adjuvant Capital as part of our holistic global health strategy. Novartis is committed to systematically integrating access strategies into how we research, develop, and deliver our new medicines to as many people as possible. Our investment in Adjuvant Capital complements these efforts, which we can only achieve through collaborations across sectors and industries.”
“Merck’s investment in Adjuvant’s new fund demonstrates our commitment to impact investing as a creative and sustainable approach to improve healthcare for underserved populations globally. We are pleased to join the team at Adjuvant and the other partners and investors who share a common goal to advance promising scientific platforms to improve global health,” said Julie Louise Gerberding, MD, MPH, Executive Vice President and Chief Patient Officer, Strategic Communications, Global Public Policy and Population Health at Merck.
Deploying Capital at a Rapid Pace, with a Rich Pipeline of New Opportunities
Highlights from Adjuvant’s young portfolio include several companies poised to develop new solutions for rabies, yellow fever, group B streptococcus, non-hormonal contraception, chikungunya, herpes, respiratory syncytial virus, HIV, and COVID-19. Although based in the U.S., 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. Recent financings include:
- New York-based Codagenix, which is using computational biology to “rationally design” vaccines for intractable public health challenges;
- California-based ChromaCode, which is leveraging machine-learning and artificial intelligence to significantly increase the throughput of existing 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 addressing chronic supply issues in the rabies vaccine market.
“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.”
Why Adjuvant’s Investors Committed to this Fund:
Compiled here is a collection of quotes from select investors describing why they invested in Adjuvant’s debut fund. With remarkable consistency, these investors express a shared vision for reducing health inequities by championing solutions for the most burdensome and the most neglected challenges, with the goal of bringing better health care to all by making affordable, effective solutions more widely accessible.
“Anthos Fund & Asset Management is proud and excited to be part of Adjuvant’s new $300 million Global Health Technology Fund at a time when global health is a top priority for the world. The impressive management team and diverse group of Limited Partners are completely aligned on scaling and measuring impact while achieving a compelling financial return. We look forward to starting the journey together with Adjuvant bringing global health solutions to those who need it most.”
– Dimple Sahni // Managing Director Impact Funds Portfolios // Anthos Fund & Asset Management
“Beacon Pointe Advisors is pleased to partner with Adjuvant Capital to provide our clients the opportunity to invest alongside renown mission-driven organizations in an effort to achieve a positive impact on global health with concurrent prospects of strong financial returns.”
– Michael Dow // Chief Investment Officer // Beacon Pointe Advisors
“Access to healthcare for all is a fundamental part of CDC’s mission. As a development finance institution, we have an important role to play in helping to deliver this using our patient capital. COVID-19 has shone a light on the need to strengthen healthcare ecosystems across the globe, and especially in developing countries. Investing in Adjuvant Capital is a crucial part of this journey; investing in world-class, tech-backed healthcare solutions will help bring vital medication to those who need it most.”
– Nick O’Donohoe // Chief Executive Officer // CDC Group
“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.”
– Imraan Mohammed // Head of Impact Investing // The Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF)
“We were very excited to encounter and ultimately invest with Adjuvant based on our efforts at the foundation to find investments that advance our core mission objectives in medical research and healthcare, while earning attractive returns to support our future grantmaking. Adjuvant’s strategy offers promise to achieve those goals and so far they are delivering.”
– Jeffrey Heil // Chief Investment Officer // Doris Duke Charitable Foundation
“There is a misconception that impact investing requires financial return concessions. We have long believed the opposite can be true, where mission-driven investment strategies can outperform traditional benchmarks, especially when a nuanced understanding of both the investment’s clinical potential and the market into which the investment will be exploited are fully understood and carefully considered as part of one’s due diligence. We hope Adjuvant will demonstrate that interventions creating tangible, long-lasting health benefits for all are not incompatible with traditional financial return objectives.”
– Thomas McPartland // Chief Executive Officer // The ELMA Philanthropies Services (U.S.) Inc. and member of the Board of ELMA Investments, Ltd.
“We are excited to partner with Adjuvant Capital to provide greater access to promising health technologies across the Global South. This is a much-needed step towards reducing inequality in all its forms and will provide critical medical solutions for millions of people worldwide.”
– Roy Swan // Director, Mission Investments // Ford Foundation
“The Global Health Investment Corporation, with the generous support of funding provided by the Government of Germany through KfW Development Bank, is pleased to support Adjuvant’s new fund, which builds upon the impact investment model pioneered by the Global Health Investment Fund, and seeks to identify products and technologies that will improve global health and generate sustainable financial returns.”
– Labeeb M. Abboud // Chairman // Global Health Investment Corporation
“At this critical time, bringing together the private sector, innovation, and new technologies, means having the ability to change the course of global health and save lives. IFC is excited to invest in Adjuvant’s new fund, working together in emerging markets to create quality, accessible health care for all.”
– Stephanie von Friedeburg // Interim Managing Director and Executive Vice President, and Chief Operating Officer // IFC, a member of the World Bank Group
“We are excited to support Adjuvant Capital as one of a select group of major investments that advance the MacArthur Foundation’s Catalytic Capital Consortium initiative. Adjuvant is tackling some of the world’s most pressing global health challenges, while also attracting conventional investors that are new to global health investing through a powerful, blended finance structure fueled by catalytic capital.”
– Debra Schwartz // Managing Director, Impact Investments // John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
“Our mission is to invest in globally scalable technologies with the potential to meaningfully impact mortality by improving healthcare access, quality and outcomes for all populations regardless of demographics or geography. Adjuvant’s investment thesis is perfectly aligned with these goals, and we are very bullish about the opportunity to save lives by financing the development of new and improved public health tools.”
– Jeff Trost // Managing Partner // Laerdal Million Lives Fund
“RockCreek shares the mission with Adjuvant to develop novel global health solutions and deliver these technologies equitably- including the COVID-19 crisis. RockCreek looks forward to continuing this journey with Adjuvant motivated by our mutual belief in bringing vaccines, drugs and devices to underserved communities globally.”
– Afsaneh Mashayekhi Beschloss // Founder and CEO // RockCreek
“Sonanz was founded with the belief that there is enormous untapped investment opportunity in essential sectors—such as healthcare, financial services, agriculture and environmental technologies—across growth markets in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Adjuvant is a natural partner for us in our healthcare vertical, and we share their conviction in the unseen value in this sector.”
– Andreas Nilsson // Founder & Managing Director // Sonanz
“We are excited to partner with Adjuvant Capital to continue their efforts to fund innovative solutions to neglected, high burden infectious diseases, as well as women’s and child health issues. The Adjuvant team has the potential to generate strong returns for investors, while funding game-changing healthcare solutions that have the potential to drive substantial social impact. Adjuvant’s commitment to democratizing access to quality healthcare and investing in health equity is something we are incredibly proud to be a part of.”
– Jim Sorenson // Founder // The Sorenson Impact Foundation