Wellcome Trust launches public bond


Britain's largest charitable organisation has announced it is to begin selling a public bond in an effort to raise capital for further research.

The Wellcome Trust, established in 1936, chose to announce its trend-setting decision on the day it was awarded an Aaa/AAA credit rating from Moody's and Standard & Poor's.

It becomes the first UK charity to sell a public bond and hopes to use the £12 billion in its investment fund to attract further capital.

"The Aaa/AAA rating will give us the financial flexibility to access additional long-term funding for the Trust," said Dr Mark Walport, director of the Wellcome Trust.

"It will help us to continue to increase the amount of money we spend each year in support of the very best scientists whose discoveries will increase our knowledge about health and disease."

The Wellcome Trust currently spends £450 million a year on funding scientific research projects, which have led to achievements including the sequencing of the human genome, the development of the antimalarial drug artemisinin and the establishment of the UK Biobank, a resource for the study of nature and nurture in health issues.

It remains second only to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in terms of funding of biomedical research around the world.

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