Bill Gates and George Soros have decided to join their efforts in vaccine development. The two billionaires announced the acquisition of UK firm Mologic, which develops one of the covid-19 rapid lateral flow tests.
The corona pandemic has aggressively demonstrated the fundamental inequities in global public health, the Soros Economic Development Fund statement said. In particular, it showed the crucial importance of access in low and middle-income countries to low-price, high-quality, life-saving diagnostic tools, SEDF added.
With backing from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Soros Economic Development Fund, an arm of Mr Soros’s Open Society Foundations, will invest at least £30 million ($41.1m) to improve the standard of medical technology in the developing world.
Mologic and a non-profit sister company Global Access Diagnostics will be integrated into a new enterprise called Global Access Health.
Thus, the acquisition becomes a unique transaction, which gives an opportunity to philanthropic funds and investors to work together. Amid the pandemic, enabling a cutting-edge, commercial business will help to focus on solving one of the world’s most pressing public health issues.
Mologic, set up in 2003, has developed tests for tropical diseases such as dengue, bilharzia and river blindness. It was established by Prof Paul Davis – who also helped create ClearBlue, the world’s first home pregnancy test – and his son Mark.
“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,” said Mark Davis, chief executive of Mologic.