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 aims to expand access to affordable medical technology.
The group has financed the acquisition of Mologic, developer of lateral flow and rapid diagnostic technologies, including tests that can help combat tropical diseases such as dengue, bilharzia, and river blindness, as well as for Covid-19.
The members of GAH will invest at least £30 million (US$41 million) in this deal.
The transaction transitions a for-profit company into a social enterprise and allows it to entirely reinvest its profits in pursuing these goals. This will give Mologic the ability to address gaps in the provision of global diagnostics in low-income communities and regions that profit-focused business has failed to address.
Sean Hinton, SEDF’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “The Covid-19 pandemic has painfully demonstrated the fundamental inequities in global public health, and in particular the crucial importance of access in low- and middle-income countries to low-price, high-quality life-saving diagnostic tools. In this unique transaction, philanthropic funds and investors are working together with a skilled and visionary management team in a truly innovative way to address at least one part of that failure by enabling a cutting-edge commercial business to focus all its resources on solving one of the world’s most pressing public health issues.”
Mark Davis, CEO of Mologic, welcomed the conclusion of the deal: “Mologic’s transition into a social enterprise is a deliberate, logical and natural step for a company focused on delivering affordable diagnostics and biotechnology to places that have been left underserved by the relentless pursuit of profiteering. With the support of our shareholders, donors and partners we have come a long way; we believe we have the people and the skills required for the challenges and opportunities ahead. And we hope this unique transaction will be an example for others to follow.”