The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is turning to venture capital to speed the development of medical devices to stave off or fight public health emergencies.
HHS’s Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) plans to provide the nonprofit Global Health Investment Corporation (GHIC) with a minimum of $50 million over five years, with potential for up to $500 million over 10 years. GHIC will start a global health security fund with matching capital from other investors to identify, nurture and commercialize breakthrough technologies to aid the U.S. in responding effectively to future health security threats, according to HHS.
As the technologies and companies generate investment returns, proceeds from BARDA Ventures funding will be returned to GHIC for reinvestment and sustainment of BARDA Ventures, the agency added.
“While we tackle the pandemic’s impact, we’re exploring how the U.S. can better prepare for future public health emergencies, whether it’s the next pandemic or a bioterrorism incident,” said HHS secretary Xavier Becerra in a news release. “The pandemic has demonstrated that the U.S. needs transformative technology that is not only available but also widely accessible. Today we are announcing an innovative, cost-effective approach that puts us on a better path to take on the next public health crisis and improve U.S. health care.”