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JPMorgan Chase & Co., Gates Foundation Form Investment Fund To Back Development Of Global Health Technologies

“JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation formed an investment fund that will back late-stage development of technologies to fight killer diseases in low-income countries,” Bloomberg reports (Kitamura, 9/23). “The Global Health Investment Fund aims to offer investors a modest return on their capital over 10 years while supporting innovations to tackle diseases that struggle to attract sufficient support from private investors or aid agencies,” the Financial Times writes. “The hybrid mechanism taps new sources of funding for late-stage testing and approval of drugs, vaccines, diagnostics and other products designed to tackle infectious diseases such as HIV, malaria, tuberculosis and diarrhea in low-income countries,” the newspaper notes, adding, “The launch comes at a time of growing concern over a ‘product pile-up’ of experimental products given seed funding by philanthropists and governments, but unable to raise sufficient support to complete testing and regulatory approval” (Jack, 9/23).

“The Canadian and German governments and the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation committed $94 million to the fund, whose investors include the International Finance Corp., GlaxoSmithKline Plc (GSK), Merck & Co. (MRK), Pfizer Inc. (PFE)’s foundation, Storebrand ASA, JPMorgan Chase and qualified individuals,” Bloomberg writes (9/23). “To help mitigate the risk of investing in the clinical development of new technologies, the Gates Foundation and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency have committed to partially offset potential losses in the fund, which will seek a financial return for investors by targeting high-impact technologies with public health applications in both developed and emerging markets,” according to a JPM press release. “The GHIF will invest in new drugs and vaccines, emerging diagnostic tools, child-friendly formulations of existing products, expanding manufacturing capacity and other applications that will help bring affordable technologies to those most in need,” the press release adds (9/23).