Gates and Soros partner to launch Global Access Health


The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, in partnership with the Soros Economic Development Fund (SEDF), announced the launch of Global Access Health (GAH), a social enterprise seeking to expand access to affordable, state-of-the-art medical technology in the Global South.
“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,” said Sean Hinton, SEDF CEO.
In a USD$41 million dollar deal, GAH has also bought Mologic Ltd, a developer of lateral flow and rapid diagnostic technologies, including testing for tropical diseases such as dengue, bilharzia, and river blindness, and tests for COVID-19. The company, previously for-profit, will now reinvest its profits into pursuing the goals of a social enterprise.
“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 Mologic CEO Mark Davis. “We believe we have the people and skills required for the challenges and opportunities ahead.”
Sister non-profit Global Access Diagnostics (GAD) will also be wholly owned by GAH. GAD focuses on low-cost manufacturing of diagnostic tests, and licenses Mologic products in Africa and South Asia.
SEDF includes GAH as part of a portfolio of recent investments made by parent organization Open Society Foundations, the largest private funders of human rights and social justice advocacy groups. Open Society Foundations holds 35 investments currently, totaling USD$300m.
Mark Davis will continue to serve as CEO of Mologic and Paul Davis will continue as Chief Scientific Officer. GAD will continue as a separate entity under CEO Mark Radford.