Mologic becomes a social enterprise following a philanthropic acquisition – Med-Tech Innovation
A group of philanthropic funds and investors led by the Soros Economic Development Fund (SEDF), with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, has launched Global Access Health (GAH), a social enterprise that will seek to expand access affordable public services. cutting-edge medical technology through decentralized research, development and manufacturing in and for the Global South.
The group funded the acquisition of Mologic, an innovator in the development of lateral flow and rapid diagnostic technologies, including tests that can help fight tropical diseases such as dengue, bilharzia and river blindness, as well as for COVID-19.
GAH members will invest at least £ 30million in the deal. The transaction is important in that it transforms a for-profit enterprise into a social enterprise and allows it to fully reinvest its profits in the pursuit of these objectives. This transformation will give it the capacity to fill gaps in the delivery of global diagnostics to low-income communities and regions that profit-driven businesses have not filled.
SEDF is the impact investing arm of the Open Society Foundations.
Sean Hinton, CEO of SEDF, said: “The COVID-19 pandemic has painfully demonstrated the fundamental inequalities in global public health, and in particular the critical importance of access in low- and middle-income countries to low and high prices. Quality diagnostic tools that save lives. In this unique transaction, philanthropic funds and investors work together with a knowledgeable and visionary management team in a truly innovative way to address at least part of this failure by allowing a leading commercial enterprise to focus all of its resources on solving one of the world’s most pressing public health problems.
Mologic was created in 2003 by Mark Davis and his father, Professor Paul Davis, one of the original creators of ClearBlue, the world’s first home pregnancy test. Mologic’s technology has wide application across markets and disease states where rapid and accurate point-of-need testing can help make a significant difference in patient care and patient outcomes. His extensive work in developing affordable tests for neglected tropical diseases has been supported by grants from a range of donors, most notably the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Mark Davis, CEO of Mologic, welcomed the conclusion of the agreement: “Mologic’s transition to a social enterprise is a deliberate, logical and natural step for a company focused on providing affordable diagnostics and biotechnology to places that have been underserved by the relentless pursuit of profiteers. With the support of our shareholders, donors and partners, we have come a long way; we believe we have the people and skills to meet the challenges and opportunities ahead. And we hope this unique transaction will be an example for others to follow.
Roxana Bonnell, public health expert at the Open Society Foundations, said: “Tests, or diagnostics, are vital to daily public health needs, to enable physicians and healthcare professionals to provide patients with treatment. appropriate as soon as possible. As we saw during the COVID-19 pandemic, access to testing is absolutely essential when it comes to containing the spread of contagious diseases, an issue that ultimately affects us all. “
As part of the transaction, GAH will integrate both Mologic and a sister non-profit entity, Global Access Diagnostics (GAD), which was created by the founders of Mologic with support from SEDF, UK DFID and others in April 2020. GAD focuses on low cost manufacturing of diagnostic tests and licenses Mologic technology in Africa and South Asia. Mark Davis will continue to serve as CEO of Mologic, while Paul Davis will continue to serve as Scientific Director. GAD will continue as a separate nonprofit, led by CEO Mark Radford. Both will be fully owned and governed by GAH. A number of other philanthropic funds and investors are currently engaged in finalizing their participation in GAH in order to strengthen the reach and ambition of the organization.
The transaction involves the acquisition by the consortium of investors of all of Mologic’s existing shares, including those held by two private investment managers, Foresight Group LLP and Calculus Capital.
SEDF’s investments in GAH and GAD are part of a portfolio of recent investments made in support of Open Society Foundations’ commitment to expand global access to affordable and quality public health products and technologies.