Founded in 2009, Medicines360 (Med360) began by focusing on one of the first health challenges women face: contraception. Access to the best birth control enables a woman to make an informed choice about pregnancy, but many factors make it difficult, particularly for the disadvantaged. Med360 received significant funding from a single anonymous donor to conduct a Phase 3 U.S. clinical trial to bring a hormonal IUD to the U.S. market, as well as prospectively provide access to women all around the world, especially the underserved. The corporate mission is focused on providing true access to high quality women’s health products to all women, regardless of their ability to pay. Victoria Hale, founding CEO and former leader of One World Health, has assembled a high level scientific and business team; current full time staff is seventeen and growing.
M360 is close to bringing its first product to market and is now seeking support, financing, and partners for its next product, an OTC birth control pill, and for the addition of existing products to its portfolio through acquisition or partnership. Financing needs are expected to start at $50 – 200 million and could go as high as $1 billion over time. This is based on $25-80 million to bring the OTC POP to market plus “search cash” for acquiring other product rights in parallel.
M360 prefers to have minimum investments of $5 million. The funds will only be used to develop and market products that can generate commercial returns. Both project and mission funding are acceptable. M360 is open to creating for-profit and/or for-benefit associated organizations tied to the current 501-(c)(3). M360 wishes to invest as much of the returns as possible in expanding access to better women’s health the world over.
Med360 asked the ACT team to:
- provided an overview of the possible funders for large ($5M+) sources of financing for mission-driven organizations in women’s health,
- identified pressure points by funder type/corporate structure,
- framed the critical trade-offs in pursuing difference sources of funding,
- narrowed the funding options based on scenarios,
- and recommended next steps in pursuing funding.
Over the course of this project, the ACT team:
- Mapped and brainstormed possibilities in order to create an overview of the funding landscape;
- conducted web research, interviews, and email dialogues in order to answer key questions;
- performed preliminary analysis and focusing in order to highlight the most promising possibilities;
- researched key and under-explored possibilities further in order to identify preliminary focus areas and scenarios;
- conducted a final analysis to determine final recommendations and implications.
- Short term: continue as a not-for-profit seeking philanthropic funding; start talking to impact investors
- Longer term: convert to a for-profit social enterprise in order to attract impact and for-profit investors
- Create detailed business plan for selected initiatives
- Set timing of funding goals
- Clarify mission, impact, and financial return metrics
- Create funding pitch for target funder profiles
- Do a deep dive into the target funding segments to get prioritized list of initial contacts, reach out and network relentlessly
- Network with reproductive health and funder community
Goal alignment is the overriding key to funding:
- Strategic alignment is the most important variable
- For-profit investors are largely agnostic about the corporate structure and the mission, provided business model is in line with their investment philosophy and return needs
- Tailoring/personalizing the pitch is key to generating champions
Reference funders are very helpful:
- Support from the reproductive health community will be essential
- Potential supporters are low profile, but very committed, generous, and loyal to the cause of reproductive health
- Chances of success dependent on ability to access the personal connections of Med360’s current donor, board members, executives, friendly key opinion leaders in the industry, and contacts from LNG20 rollout
- The more specific and measurable the RH and follow-on impacts, the more likely you are to get funding
Final Report Outline
- Project overview
- Appendix – List of Impact Funding Sources*
- Glossary of key fundraising-related terms*
- Service providers in impact investing space*
- References – Reports and Websites*
- List of Foundations interested in Reproductive Health who give $1+ mil per year*