Venture Capital

Africa: CDC invests in Adjuvant Capital’s venture fund


Glenn Rockman and Jenny Yip, managing partners at Adjuvant Capital

CDC Group has invested in a US$300m fund from Adjuvant Capital focused on accelerating the development of medical innovations for public health challenges.

Launched in 2019, Adjuvant’s debut fund will support promising new technologies for indications that the venture capital industry has, what is calls, “largely ignored”.

“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,” said Nick O’Donohoe, chief executive of the UK’s development finance institution and impact investor.

“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.”

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 commercialised products broadly accessible to underserved populations in low- and middle-income countries.

Adjuvant’s portfolio includes companies developing new solutions for rabies, yellow fever, group B streptococcus, non-hormonal contraception, chikungunya, herpes, respiratory syncytial virus, HIV, and Covid-19. It has invested in Nigeria, Bangladesh, and China, in addition to collaborations in India and Western Europe

“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.”

To finance these ambitious goals, Adjuvant has assembled a 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.

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, 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.


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