A group of investors led by the Soros Economic Development Fund (SEDF) and the Bill &
Melinda Gates Foundation have financed the buyout of UK diagnostic technologies firm Mologic, which has developed a 10-minute coronavirus test.
To make the acquisition, the group has launched Global Access Health (GAH), a social enterprise aiming to expand access to affordable medical technology. The members of the GAH are reportedly set on investing over $41 billion in the acquisition deal. The transaction will include the buyout of all Mologic’s existing shares, including those held by two private investment managers, Foresight Group LLP and Calculus Capital.
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“The COVID-19 pandemic has painfully demonstrated the fundamental inequities in global public health, and in particular the crucial importance of access to […] life-saving diagnostic tools. In this unique transaction, philanthropic funds and investors are working together […] 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,” Sean Hinton, SEDF’s chief executive officer, has said, commenting on the deal.
Mologic was founded in 2003 by Mark Davis and his father Professor Paul Davis, one of the creators of the world’s first home pregnancy test, ClearBlue. Mologic develops tests for a variety of diseases at affordable prices and recently received a CE mark (Conformité Européenne) for its coronavirus disease Covid-19 tests, which the company plans to sell at just $1 each.
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However, the Covid-19 test has yet to be approved for use in both the UK and the US. Mologic recently received £1 million ($1.4 million) from the UK authorities for its Covid-19 tests development, but later accused the government of “stonewalling” the usage of the tests within the country.
Mologic’s CEO Mark Davis welcomed the acquisition deal, stating that it means a transformation of his company into a social enterprise which he dubbed “a deliberate, logical and natural step focused on delivering affordable diagnostics and biotechnology to places that have been left underserved by the relentless pursuit of profiteering.”
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