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Glenn Rockman, left, and Jenny Yip of Adjuvant Capital. Photo: Benjamin Norman Media

A new venture capital firm has raised hundreds of millions of dollars to invest in medical innovations specifically designed to help people in developing countries.

Why it matters: While health care venture investing is booming, few investors focus on diseases and conditions that primarily affect poorer countries. Adjuvant Capital sees a social and business opportunity in that gap.

Driving the news: Last week, New York-based VC firm Adjuvant Capital announced it had raised $300 million in its debut fund.

  • The fund — which finished its raise in December — is backed by investors including the Gates Foundation, which contributed $75 million.

How it works: Run by two veterans of global health financing, Adjuvant Capital has already invested in more than 10 companies that target conditions like rabies and yellow fever — diseases that have largely been controlled in rich countries but still wreak havoc in the developing world.

  • "We asked, 'Why aren't the capital markets doing more to invest in technologies that we think have been significantly undervalued and that can have this huge impact on public health?'" says Glenn Rockman, Adjuvant's founder and managing partner.
  • Among the companies Adjuvant has funded are Evofem Biosciences, which makes a nonhormonal contraceptive gel for women, and Lagos-based 54gene, which uses pan-African genetic data for drug and vaccine development.

What they're saying: Both companies demonstrate Adjuvant's aim to support technologies that directly benefit people in the developing world — and in the case of 54gene, a company that was founded there, says managing partner Jenny Yip.

  • "We take a carrot and stick approach" to global access, says Yip. That means guiding companies on access but also asking them to sign "legally binding commitments."

The bottom line: Global health is a global problem, which means health care venture funding needs to flow to companies that serve the entire globe.

Go deeper

The E-commerce shopping spree

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Retailers have gotten really good at selling stuff online. So much so, investors want them to separate from the business units that do just that.

Why it matters: Spinning off these crown jewels may jeopardize both the physical and e-commerce sides of the companies in the long run by breaking the benefits of hybrid operations, analysts say.

2 hours ago - World

U.S. envoy to visit Sudan as "most dangerous" crisis intensifies

The sit-in in Khartoum. Photo: Mahmoud Hjaj/Anadolu Agency via Getty

U.S. envoy for the Horn of Africa Jeffrey Feltman will visit Khartoum this week amid what Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok has called the “worst and most dangerous" crisis of Sudan’s transition to democracy, two sources with direct knowledge tell Axios.

Driving the news: Roughly 2,000-3,000 people had joined a sit-in in Khartoum as of this afternoon, per Reuters, after protesters massed over the weekend to call on the military to bring down the government. The protests came just four weeks after a failed military coup.

Trump sues National Archives, Jan. 6 committee to block records request

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

President Trump filed a lawsuit Monday seeking to block the National Archives from releasing White House records to the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection, citing executive privilege.

Why it matters: It's the latest escalation in Trump's campaign to disrupt the committee's sweeping probe into the circumstances surrounding Jan. 6, including his actions and communications leading up to the Capitol attack.