The Covid-19 pandemic has pushed vaccines and public health to the forefront of people’s minds. Investment and research in these areas have rocketed in recent months, but will such interest continue long into the future? Glenn Rockman, founder and Managing Partner of Adjuvant Capital, a VC firm investing in the infectious disease area, believes it will.
Rockman did not plan to get into life science investing. With a background in public policy and an interest in economics and finance, he decided to go into banking after leaving university.
“I went to work at a big investment bank, JP Morgan, but I didn’t do traditional banking. My clients were limited to what we call ‘mission-driven organizations’ that have a social purpose on top of their institutional purpose.”
Many organizations fall within this realm, including universities, art museums, and research institutes. But few are as large or as well known as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which became one of Rockman’s best clients.
“One of their biggest priorities was finding a way to convince traditional life science investors that there was an overlooked profit and social impact opportunity in neglected public health challenges, which they predominantly defined as high-burden and neglected infectious diseases,” he explained.
“Not being very creative as bankers,