Gates Foundation Funds For-Profit Biotech

December 2, 2010 at 10:17 PM

“NanoBio, the Ann Arbor, MI-based developer of new vaccine formulations made to be more potent and easy to deliver, has snapped up a $6 million grant from the Seattle-based Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation,” Xconomy.com reports.

The company, a University of Michigan spinoff founded in 2000, secured the support to study its experimental vaccine against respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). This deal allows NanoBio, a for-profit company, to retain the commercial rights to this vaccine in wealthy countries, while the foundation will have access to the vaccine in the developing world.

A question: How common is it for a donor to fund a for-profit firm like this? Is it controversial at all, or am I just late to the party?

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