Gates, Merck and Novartis-backed Adjuvant Capital raises $300M for neglected diseases

A major group of pharma and charitable groups have joined forces to raise a $300 million venture round for Adjuvant Capital as it goes after forgotten diseases across the globe.

Those big names include Merck, Novartis, IFC, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Children's Investment Fund Foundation, Dalio Philanthropies, the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, ELMA Investments Ltd., the Ford Foundation, the MacArthur Foundation, Global Health Investment Corporation, CDC Group, Anthos Fund & Asset Management and others.

They have all come together to tackle some of the biggest global disease threats—but ones that too often get overlooked in the West and by traditional life science companies—such as malaria, shigella, hookworm, tuberculosis and Lassa fever, conditions that affect millions of people, predominately in poorer regions.

The group will use its $300 million for these “historically overlooked public health challenges” in their own right, but also pointed out that especially infectious diseases and pathogens originating outside of the West can swiftly find their way in, meaning creating a better global health system will benefit everyone. 

First launched back 2019, Adjuvant has already backed 14 companies developing technologies for high-impact indications ranging from rare conditions such as melioidosis, a tropical flu-like illness, to widespread global emergencies such as COVID-19.

“As viruses like Ebola, Zika, and SARS-CoV-2 have clearly demonstrated, wealthy countries are vulnerable to these pathogens as well,” said Glenn Rockman, managing partner at Adjuvant Capital.

“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.”

“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,” added Lutz Hegemann, M.D., Ph.D., group head for corporate affairs and global health at Novartis.

“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.”