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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services


BARDA Ventures: Evolving Federal National Health Security Using Novel Venture Capital-Style Partnership

Author: Gary Disbrow, Ph.D, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, Acting BARDA Director, and Sandeep Patel, Ph.D, BARDA DRIVe Director, and Justin Yang, MBA, Catalyst Office Director
Published Date: 11/12/2020 3:42:00 PM
Category: Medical Countermeasures; National Health Security;

Partner with us to build a portfolio of next-generation of medical countermeasures using a cutting-edge business solution

After an extensive assessment of the Public Health Emergency Medical Countermeasure Enterprise (PHEMCE) in 2010, HHS found systemic gaps in the federal government’s ability to develop necessary medical countermeasures during an emergency. The review panel recommended the creation of an independent strategic investment entity to fund efforts aimed at mitigating such risks. The 21st Century Cures Act provided BARDA with the necessary authority to partner with an existing non-profit entity to make investments with the flexibility and speed of venture capitalists. This approach emphasizes revitalizing, rejuvenating, and accelerating medical countermeasure development.

As the COVID-19 pandemic has made clear, fully preparing for the unique complexity of new health security threats is an ongoing challenge. We need to continually evolve and innovate, not only scientifically, but also in the types of technologies brought to market and way in which it is utilized. Our latest step to ensure that critical lifesaving products and innovation is ready when needed is the launch of BARDA Ventures.

BARDA Ventures represents a new partnership, one that utilizes practices that have been used by the venture capital community for decades. Venture capital is one of the quickest and most empowering way to bring products to market. Through this partnership, BARDA is seeking a non-profit partner to operate an investment fund uniquely focused on enhancing national health security, transforming platform technologies, and bringing them to market to save lives and protect Americans.

BARDA Ventures will provide a mechanism to deploy needed capital so that inventors, innovators, and entrepreneurs can help combat complex, evolving health security threats. This approach will help attract the most innovative solutions that can bolster our nation’s response to future pandemics and other public health emergencies.

All investments within the BARDA Ventures portfolio must meet BARDA’s mission to address health security risks – from identifying an unknown pathogen circulating in a community to administering a medical countermeasure such as a vaccine after it has been developed. These critical technologies could be used to augment and enhance U.S. preparedness against known and unknown threats, natural, or man-made. Through this investment method, if a portfolio company succeeds in generating positive returns by bringing a product to market, goes public, or is outlicensed, proceeds from BARDA Ventures investments made with U.S. Government funds will be recycled back into the fund to further support the partnership in the advancement of health security.

Today, we are looking for a qualified entity to help us transform the American health security landscape through this unique partnership. That partner would be an existing nonprofit entity with a demonstrated track record of successful healthcare and life science related venture capital investments that can establish and manage a private-public partnership with us. If you are interested in learning more and working with us to change the future of health security and prevent the next pandemic, click here to learn more.


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