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Axmed raises $2 million to transform access to critical medicines in low and middle income countries

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For too long, low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) have borne the brunt of global health disparities—accounting for over 80% of the world's population and more than 90% of its disease burden—yet representing a mere 6% of global pharmaceutical revenue. Equitable access to high quality affordable medicines remains a daunting task, and addressing this challenge has never been more critical. Axmed, an innovative two-sided B2B marketplace platform, is taking a bold and meaningful step forward in addressing this disparity with the announcement of a $2 million seed funding round. This investment aims to accelerate the affordability, availability, and distribution of essential and innovative medicines in underserved regions.

The fresh investment was led by Founderful and complements an earlier $5 million in grant funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, bringing total funds raised to $7 million. These funds will bolster Axmed's expansion, enhancing its engineering and commercial teams and advancing its technology infrastructure to initiate operations in strategically selected markets within Africa and the Caribbean.

Axmed founders: (L to R) Sofia Radley-Searle, Emmanuel Akpakwu and Felix Ohnmacht.

Axmed's B2B marketplace optimises the procurement process for healthcare providers in emerging and growth markets, catering to public, third sector, and private entities. The platform aggregates demand for both off-patent and patented medicines, creating larger, more cost-effective order volumes for manufacturers while simultaneously enhancing buyer leverage on cost and availability. The platform further streamlines the process by curating and consolidating Requests for Proposals and efficiently mapping out supply logistics. This approach creates a win-win outcome: it lowers the barriers to accessing costly medicines for patients and providers, while enabling manufacturers to expand their footprint in underserved markets.

Axmed's founding team brings together a wealth of expertise and dedication, with over 30 years of collective experience in healthcare, finance, and public-private partnerships. CEO Emmanuel Akpakwu, previously Chief Commercial Officer for Novartis AG's Sub-Saharan Africa operations, is joined by Felix Ohnmacht and Sofia Radley-Searle, who have held key positions at Novartis and GSK, respectively. Their united vision is to tackle healthcare inequity head-on.

Emmanuel Akpakwu, CEO of Axmed commented: "We are not merely developing a medicines platform; we are creating a bold new vision for the future of medicine accessibility. This vision not only empowers buyers but also unlocks the full potential of growth markets, allowing suppliers to compete effectively.”

This seed round propels Axmed into its next phase of strategic expansion, driving significant advancements in building out the engineering and business development teams, whilst preparing the platform for launch. Through targeted deployment of funds, Axmed will enhance its marketplace technology and forge alliances with key healthcare stakeholders to ensure a reliable supply of critical medicines.

"We're delighted to back this outstanding team," added Lukas Weder, Founding Partner at Founderful. "The team's commitment and enthusiasm for addressing this important challenge is inspiring. We have every confidence in their ability to reshape the $140 billion LMIC pharma market, improving access to medicines for over 6 billion individuals. "

Axmed's mission extends beyond technology; it's about forging critical partnerships and ensuring a steady flow of crucial medicines to those in need. Despite LMICs' small share of the global pharmaceutical market, they represent a burgeoning $140 billion sector, with Africa alone accounting for over $43 billion in pharmaceutical opportunity. The urgency for accessible and affordable healthcare solutions has never been more evident, especially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, which highlighted the need for a coordinated and sustainable medicines marketplace tailored to LMICs.

"Industry leaders and healthcare providers are aligned in their support for Axmed's model, recognizing its potential to significantly enhance medicine accessibility in Low and Middle-Income Countries. "Axmed's approach could fundamentally change how patients obtain treatments," remarked Roselyne Opel, Head of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States Pooled Procurement Initiative (OECS PPI). "We look forward to seeing their platform reshape access, empowering buyers and strengthening supply of lifesaving therapies to a broader patient base."

James Nyamongo, CEO of the Nairobi Hospital, Kenya added: “Axmed’s approach not only empowers us to gain access to life-saving medicines affordably, it also fosters real competition that raises the quality bar, bringing the highest quality local and global manufacturers to our doorstep”.

Thibaud Lefort, Head of Operations for Sanofi’s Global Health Unit, added: "Axmed’s model presents a powerful opportunity to deliver much needed positive change across global health. We are eager to see their platform transform the access landscape, improving supplier-ability to reach more patients with lifesaving therapies, especially in underserved environments”

As the deadline for the UN Sustainable Development Goals approaches, Emmanuel Akpakwu reaffirms Axmed's commitment: "We are driven by the belief that radical solutions are necessary to build on the progress being made across the various facets of global health. Axmed represents such a solution, and we are eager to make a positive, lasting impact on the world."

About Axmed

Axmed is an innovative healthcare venture focused on transforming access to medicines across low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Through its robust digital platform, Axmed operates a two-sided B2B marketplace that bridges the gap between pharmaceutical manufacturers/suppliers and healthcare providers, ensuring a steady, affordable supply of critical medicines. By leveraging technology, strategic partnerships, and a deep understanding of the unique challenges faced by LMICs, Axmed is committed to fostering sustainable health outcomes and accelerating global health equity.

About Founderful

Founderful is Switzerland’s leading pre-seed fund. We give every founder our deepest understanding and highest levels of support, and together, we’re building the future of the Swiss startup ecosystem.

Contact Details


Bilal Mahmood

+44 7714 007257

Company Website

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