Founded by George Soros with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and several philanthropic investors, the Soros Economic Development Fund (SEDF) has announced the creation of Global Access Health (GAH), a social enterprise that provides access to affordable medical technology.
As part of this initiative, the group financed the acquisition of the UK company Mologic, a developer of lateral flow and rapid diagnostic technologies.
GAH members will invest at least £ 30 million ($ 41 million) in this deal.
WHY IT IS IMPORTANT
Mologic is developing tests to combat tropical diseases such as dengue, schistosomiasis and river blindness, as well as for COVID-19.
SEDF’s investments in GAH and GAD are part of a portfolio of recent investments serving the Open Society Foundations’ commitment to expanding global access to affordable public health products and technologies.
The initiative aims to achieve this through decentralized research, development and production in and for the global south.
The transaction will enable the project to fill gaps in the provision of global diagnostics in low-income communities and regions.
“Tests or diagnostics are critical to everyday public health needs so that doctors and healthcare professionals can provide appropriate treatment to patients as early as possible,” said Roxana Bonnell, public health expert at the Open Society Foundations. “As we saw during the COVID-19 pandemic, access to testing is absolutely essential in reducing the spread of infectious diseases – an issue that ultimately affects us all.”
THE GREATER CONTEXT
Recently, Indian healthcare solutions provider HealWell24 partnered with actress and philanthropist Gul Panag to launch its latest web platform that provides doctors and patients with a space to connect.
ON THE RECORD
Sean Hinton, Chief Executive Officer of SEDF, said, “The COVID-19 pandemic has created fundamental inequalities in global healthcare and, in particular, the critical importance of access to low-cost, high-quality life-saving diagnostic tools in low and middle income countries. In this unique transaction, philanthropic funds and investors are working in a truly innovative way with a knowledgeable and visionary management team to address at least part of this failure by allowing an innovative commercial company to devote all of its resources to solving one of the most pressing problems public health in the world. “
Mark Davis, CEO of Mologic, said, “Mologic’s transition to a social enterprise is a conscious, logical, and natural step for a company focused on delivering affordable diagnostics and biotechnology to places created by the relentless pursuit of profitability are undersupplied. With the support of our shareholders, donors and partners, we have come a long way; We believe we have the people and skills necessary for the challenges and opportunities to come. And we hope that this unique transaction will set an example for others. “