The Foundation

Presentation of the Mérieux Foundation

The world is undergoing profound changes, leading to crises, which impact and multiply in all regions. Whether political, demographic, economic or even climatic in nature, all crises contribute to worsening the health conditions of affected populations, creating an ideal breeding ground for epidemics. Here again, developing countries are the hardest-hit, with mothers and children at the forefront.

This is why the Mérieux Foundation, an independent family foundation with public interest status, has been fighting infectious diseases affecting vulnerable populations in developing countries for over 50 years.

Taking a global health approach, the Mérieux Foundation looks beyond medical care to address the health and socio-economic issues that compromise the well-being of populations in countries where it operates.

The foundation works side-by-side with local partners and builds networks to mobilize the skills and energies necessary to implement effective and sustainable actions.

The foundation works closely with Fondation Christophe et Rodolphe Mérieux, an independent family foundation under the aegis of the Institut de France, to sustainably improve the quality of life and health of mothers and children.

The Mérieux Foundation’s action focuses on four main objectives:

  • Increasing vulnerable populations’ access to diagnostics by strengthening clinical laboratories in national healthcare systems;
  • Enhancing local applied research capabilities by creating Rodolphe Mérieux Laboratories transferred to local partners, training researchers and developing collaborative programs;
  • Encouraging knowledge-sharing and public health initiatives working with Les Pensières Center for Global Health;
  • Improving conditions for mothers and children taking a global health approach.

The Mérieux Foundation’s philosophy of action

  • A collaborative dynamic driven by partnerships with local healthcare stakeholders, international organizations, academic research, companies and NGOs
  • A long-term vision with sustained support leading to autonomy and local ownership of infrastructures and programs;
  • Building networks for international cooperation to share experience and pool skills;
  • A global health approach from humans to animals, taking into account healthcare, but also nutrition, environmental safety, education and socio-economic support for patients.

Key figures

  • More than 50 years in the fight against infectious diseases
  • 4 areas of intervention
  • 25 countries where we work
  • 17 laboratories of excellence built or under construction, including 14 Rodolphe Mérieux Laboratories since 2004
  • More than 70 laboratories renovated since 2005
  • A network of 20 applied research units in 16 countries
  • More than 30 scientific conferences hybrids or online
  • 151 employees in 15 countries
  • An annual budget of close to 22 million euros

60 % of child deaths in developing countries are due to infectious disease

The Foundation

The Mérieux Foundation worldwide

One of the main pillars of the Mérieux Foundation lies in its capacity for direct intervention in the field, from the network of 17 laboratories of excellence built at the source of outbreak-prone regions, to the presence of local teams in 14 countries.To carry out its mission, the Mérieux Foundation can rely on its expertise, its great experience in the field and its local partnerships built up over more than 15 years of international development.

Mérieux Foundation Offices


  • Lyon, Headquaters
  • Annecy, Les Pensières Center for Global Health
Mérieux Foundation Offices

Mérieux Foundation USA

  • 1 expatriate
Rodolphe Mérieux Laboratories, Mérieux Foundation Offices


  • Rodolphe Mérieux Laboratory of Port-au-Prince
  • Mérieux Foundation office: 1 volunteer
Rodolphe Mérieux Laboratories


  • Rodolphe Mérieux Laboratory in Charles Mérieux Center for Infectious Disease in Rio Branco
Rodolphe Mérieux Laboratories


  • Rodolphe Mérieux Laboratory in Tunis*
Rodolphe Mérieux Laboratories


  • Rodolphe Mérieux Laboratory in Casablanca*
Rodolphe Mérieux Laboratories, Mérieux Foundation Offices

Burkina Faso

  • Rodolphe Mérieux Laboratory in Bobo-Dioulasso*
  • 2 Burkinabe employees
Rodolphe Mérieux Laboratories, Mérieux Foundation Offices


  • Rodolphe Mérieux Laboratory in Charles Mérieux Center for Infectious Diseasein Bamako
  • Mérieux Foundation office: 1 expatriate and 6 Malian employees
Rodolphe Mérieux Laboratories, Mérieux Foundation Offices


  • Rodolphe Mérieux Laboratory of Beirut
  • Mérieux Foundation office: 1 expatriate and 1 Lebanese employee
  • Mother & Child global health center in Duris
Rodolphe Mérieux Laboratories


  • Rodolphe Mérieux Laboratory in Mosul*
Partner Laboratories

Republic of Congo

  • Centre de recherche sur les maladies infectieuses Christophe Mérieux
Mérieux Foundation Offices, Rodolphe Mérieux Laboratories


  • Rodolphe Mérieux Laboratory in Charles Mérieux Center for Infectious Disease in Antananarivo
  • Mérieux Foundation office: 8 Malagasy employees
Partner Laboratories


  • National Public Health Reference Laboratory (NPHRL) in Dushanbe
Rodolphe Mérieux Laboratories


  • Rodolphe Mérieux Laboratory in Chittagong
Partner Laboratories


  • Public Health Laboratory in Mandalay
  • Mérieux Foundation office: 15 Burmese employees
Rodolphe Mérieux Laboratories, Mérieux Foundation Offices


  • Christophe Mérieux Laboratory in Beijing
  • Mérieux Foundation office: 1 Chinese employee
Rodolphe Mérieux Laboratories, Mérieux Foundation Offices


  • Rodolphe Mérieux Laboratory in Charles Mérieux Center for Infectious Disease in Vientiane
  • Mérieux Foundation office: 1 expatriate and 6 Lao employees
Rodolphe Mérieux Laboratories, Mérieux Foundation Offices


  • Rodolphe Mérieux Laboratory of Phnom Penh
  • Mérieux Foundation office: 1 expatriate, 1 volunteer and 3 Cambodian employees
  • Centre du Docteur Christophe Mérieux - Enfants du Mékong
Mérieux Foundation Offices


  • 1 Beninese employee
Mérieux Foundation Offices


  • 16 Guinean employees
Mérieux Foundation Offices


  • 3 Nigerian employees
Mérieux Foundation Offices


  • 2 expatriates and 4 Senegalese employees
Mérieux Foundation Offices


  • 3 Togolese employees
Rodolphe Mérieux Laboratories


  • Rodolphe Mérieux Laboratory in Goma

The Foundation

President’s message

The outbreak of an unprecedented pandemic in 2020 serves as a reminder of the persistent threat of infection and the fragility of our world in the face of pathogens that know no borders between countries or species.

This year, the spotlight was on the crucial importance of preventive medicine associating diagnostics and vaccination in the fight against epidemics. The role of our Foundation in supporting biological diagnosis in countries with limited resources was firmly established. This was the vision that Dr. Christophe Mérieux first introduced for our Foundation in 2003. He wanted to set up a network of high-level biological diagnosis laboratories to act as early warning systems for infectious diseases in the field, in the heart of the regions where epidemics emerge.

His vision is now demonstrating its full relevance and effectiveness. In 2020, the Mérieux Foundation proved itself in a particularly difficult context and took an important step forward. The Rodolphe Mérieux Laboratories have been fully operational throughout the pandemic and have been recognized by the World Health Organization and international health authorities for their strategic contribution in many places around the world, including Beirut in Lebanon, Rio Branco in Brazil, Goma in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Vientiane in Laos.

At the same time, while the crisis was causing havoc to people’s health and the economy, we continued our campaigns to help the most vulnerable groups, mothers and their children, in the countries where we operate laboratories. This included setting up a health center in the plains of the Bekaa Valley in Lebanon, as well as a new maternity unit in Mali and a nutritional program for children in Madagascar.

Thanks to the exceptional donation from bioMérieux, which held back half its dividends during the COVID-19 crisis so that it could devote them to public-interest campaigns, the Foundation has been able to consolidate its network and extend it to new countries. This will allow us to open new laboratories in Iraq, Burkina Faso, Morocco and the Republic of the Congo. We also plan to help our partner Bioforce set up a new training center for humanitarian work in the Middle East.

By 2022, our network will include 17 Rodolphe Mérieux Laboratories in Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Latin America, and Haiti. These laboratories work in association with the international Instituts Pasteur to ensure epidemiological surveillance and better access to healthcare worldwide.

This will allow us to save precious time and to accelerate the implementation of projects that make a crucial contribution to the fight against infectious diseases.

These developments are managed by Jean-Pierre Bosser, who joined the Mérieux Foundation as Director General in October 2019 and has since made a remarkable contribution.

Thanks to his local knowledge and with the help of his team, he has been able to respond to the health emergency by realigning our priorities in a complex crisis situation. He has also consolidated the Foundation’s operational structures to allow it to overcome the challenges it has set itself for the years to come . Our Foundation is now in a good position to set up facilities in new territories in order to respond to the healthcare requirements of vulnerable people in an uncertain global environment.

The battle against infectious diseases is never over. We must fight with a long-term global vision in mind and learn all the lessons we can from the current crisis. This crisis has humbled us in the face of a formidable enemy and encouraged us to join forces in a fractured global environment, without losing sight of our ambition to construct the public health system of the future.

2020 :
“The outbreak of an unprecedented pandemic in 2020 serves as a reminder of the persistent threat of infection and the fragility of our world in the face of pathogens that know no borders between
countries or species.”
Alain MÉRIEUX . President
© Susie Waroude

The Foundation

Director General’s message

Here we are, more than a year after the start of the COVID-19 epidemic, which violently and suddenly struck the world. In turn, the countries where we operate, the field and the headquarters, have been impacted and severely hit. Without any warning, the crisis has imposed many constraints and restrictions on us, although the needs of the countries where we work kept growing.

Faced with this unprecedented situation, the Foundation had to experience many challenges in 2020. It was able to respond to the COVID-19 emergency, while continuing its ongoing programs related to public health issues.

To do so, our teams mobilized strongly to pursue the Foundation’s mission. They have acted in a context that combined slowdowns and strong accelerations, with no interruption.

This global upheaval has allowed us to put into practice and reaffirm the Foundation’s priorities and strategy, in particular providing access to quality diagnosis to the greatest number of people. The importance of diagnosis, the core of our activities in the field, has taken on its full meaning: without it, it is impossible to identify, monitor and therefore control an epidemic.
The ambition to build laboratories at the heart of infectious sites was naturally reinforced by the key role that these structures played “nationally” in the face of the epidemic. On each continent, a Rodolphe Mérieux Laboratory mobilized to provide SARS-CoV-2 diagnosis, but also training for other public health structures. All managed by local scientists, the Rodolphe Mérieux Laboratories are fully integrated into their national ecosystem to meet health challenges.

To support each of our partner countries in the fight against COVID-19, and to be able to provide an adjusted response, the Foundation has been able to rely on its long-lasting onsite presence, marked by trust and a field-oriented culture (further strengthened in 2020) and its links with local actors. The teams on the ground were thus able to continue the actions initiated before COVID-19, despite severe travel restrictions.

This year also illustrated the bonds of trust and complementarity that the Foundation maintains with its partners, both financial and operational. This support has enabled us to quickly coordinate and strengthen our activities and programs in response to the COVID-19 emergency.

Thanks to our international presence, our partners, our infrastructure networks, the significant mobilization, and versatility of our teams in France and abroad, and the exceptional donation from bioMérieux’s shareholders, 2020 has been a year of confirmation and reinforcement of the Mérieux Foundation’s international action.

the year of the Mérieux Foundation’s operational challenge
Jean Pierre BOSSER . Director General
© Olivia Mérieux

The Foundation

Governance 2020

Board of Directors

President of Honor

Prof. François GROS

Representatives of the founding members

Alain MÉRIEUX . President

Chantal MÉRIEUX . Karine MEHLER . Olivia MÉRIEUX . Alexandre MÉRIEUX

Qualified Persons

Didier CHERPITEL . Prof. Jean-François DELFRAISSY . Prof. David L. HEYMANN . Dr. Marie-Paule KIENY . Prof. Didier RAOULT . Dr. Robert SEBBAG . Bernard SINOU

Government Representative

The Prefect of the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes Region

Management committee

  • Jean-Pierre BOSSER
    Director General
    Medical & Scientific Director, Deputy Director General since June 2020
  • Prof. Hubert ENDTZ
    Applied Research Director until June 2020
  • Dr. François-Xavier BABIN
    Director of International Operations
  • Dr. Pascal VINCELOT
    Director of Cooperation and Prospective Programs
  • Clélia LEBAYLE
    Secretary General / Director of Support Functions since May 2020
  • Emmanuel DE GUIBERT
    Secretary General until May 2020
  • Bénédicte PANSIER
    Knowledge Sharing Director

Scientific Advisory Board

  • Prof. Albert OSTERHAUS*
    President, University of Veterinary Medicine of Hannover, (Germnay)
  • Prof.Antoine ANDREMONT*
    Université Paris-Diderot (France)
  • Prof. Françoise BARRÉ-SINOUSSI*
    Institut Pasteur (France)
  • Prof. Abdullah BROOKS
    Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore (United States)
  • Dr. Kevin DE COCK
    CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) (Kenya)
  • Prof. Xavier de LAMBALLERIE*
    Université d’Aix-Marseille (France)
  • Dr. Rana HAJJEH
    WHO/Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean (Egypt)
  • Prof. David L. HEYMANN*
    London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (United Kingdom)
  • Dr. Warren JOHNSON*
    Weill Cornell Medical College (United States)
  • Prof. Johan NEYTS*
    Université de Louvain, KU Leuven, (Belgium)
  • Prof. Jean-William PAPE
    Centres GHESKIO (Haiti)

*Until December 2020

New members 2021

  • Dr. Marie-Paule KIENY
    Présidente, Inserm (France)
  • Dr. Valérie D’ACREMONT
    Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Switzerland)
  • Prof. Hubert ENDTZ
    Erasmus University Rotterdam (Netherlands)
  • Prof. Francine NTOUMI
    Congolese Foundation for Medical Research (Congo)
  • Dr. Christophe PAQUET
    Agence française de développement (France)
  • Dr. Firdausi QADRI
    International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease and Research (Bangladesh)
  • Dr. Voahangy RASOLOFO
    Institut Pasteur Madagascar (Madagascar)
  • Dr. Wenhong ZHANG
    Huashan Hospital of the Fudan University (China)

Mérieux Foundation USA

Conseil d’administration

  • Pr David L. HEYMANN
    Président, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (Royaume-Uni)
  • Dr Jon ANDRUS
    Center for Global Health, University of Colorado; Department of Global Health, Milken Institute of Public Health, George Washington University (États-Unis)
  • Didier CHERPITEL
    Conseil d’Administration de la Fondation Mérieux (France)
  • Dr Kevin DE COCK
    CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) (Kenya)
  • Dr Warren JOHNSON
    Center for Global Health, Weill Cornell Medical College (États-Unis)
  • Karine MEHLER
    Conseil d’Administration de la Fondation Mérieux (France)
  • Clare O’BRIEN
    Shearman & Sterling (États-Unis)

Management committee

    CEO since March 2020
  • Dr. Guy VERNET
    CEO until March 2020
    Director of Programs since February 2020
  • Emily PENROSE
    Program and Operations Director until February 2020
    Director of Finance & Operations from May 2020

The Foundation

Financial partners

“Building on our expertise in biology, we are working closely with international and local partners as part of multidisciplinary, complementary and, above all, concerted approaches with a long-term perspective.”

Alain MÉRIEUX . President

To successfully carry out its development and researchprojects in emerging countries and ensure they producesustainable results, the Mérieux Foundation bringstogether national and international public and private partners with local organizations. The trust and commitment of nearly 80 partners have made it possible for the foundation to help local stakeholders in their fight against infectious diseases. The Mérieux Foundation thanks them warmly for their support.

Regional, national & international institutions

  • African Society for Laboratory Medicine (ASLM)
  • Agence Française de Développement (AFD)
  • Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes Region
  • Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI)
  • Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA)
  • Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Australian Government (DFAT)
  • Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ)
  • European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP)
  • European Commission
  • Expertise France
  • Fleming Fund (UK Department of Aid and Social Care)
  • Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria
  • Ile-de-France Region
  • International Organization for Migration (IOM)
  • Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KWF)
  • L’Initiative
  • Luxembourg Government Aid and Development Agency (LuxDev)
  • Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs – via Expertise France
  • Pan American Health Organization (PAHO)
  • Prince’s Government of Monaco
  • Région Ile de France
  • Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA)
  • The Joint Programming Initiative on Antimicrobial Resistance (JPIAMR)
  • UK Foreign Commonwealth Development Office (FCDO)
  • U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
  • United States Agency for International Development (USAID)
  • World Bank – via the West African Health Organisation (WAHO)
  • World Health Organization (WHO)

Foundations & NGOs

  • Alliance Médicale de Madagascar
  • Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Fondation AnBer
  • Fondation Christophe et Rodolphe Mérieux
  • Fondation Pierre Fabre
  • Fondation Raoul Follereau
  • Fondation Saint-Irénée
  • Fonds Decitre
  • Fonds Habert
  • Fonds Pour Eux
  • Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND)
  • Global Alliance for Rabies Control (GARC)
  • Institut Pasteur
  • Jameel Community
  • PATH
  • Red Cross Society of China
  • Santé Sud
  • TDR, the Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases
  • The Social Innovation in Health Initiative (SIHI)
  • Wellcome Trust

Universities & research institutes

  • Agence France Recherche Nord&Sud Sida-HIV Hépatites (ANRS)
  • Agence nationale de la recherche (ANR)
  • Bioaster
  • Centre International de Recherche en Infectiologie (CIRI)
  • Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD)
  • Lyonbiopôle
  • Oxford University
  • University of Geneva

Industry & companies

  • Bayer
  • bioMérieux
  • BluSense
  • Cepheid
  • Gilead
  • GFA Consulting Group
  • GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals (GSK)
  • Institut Mérieux
  • Janssen Vaccines & Prevention (JNJ)
  • Merck/MSD
  • Oxford Immunotec
  • Pfizer
  • Qiagen
  • Roche
  • Sanofi Pasteur
  • Serum Institute of India
  • Shearman & Sterling
  • Société M.B.D.
  • Takeda

The Fondation

Accounts and key figures 2020

Balance sheet

December 31, 2020
December 31, 2019
Fixed assets
Intangible fixed assets 1,431 14
Property, plant and equipment 4,266 1,668
Investments and other financial assets 37,310 36,568
Total 43,007 38,250
Current assets
Accounts receivable 708 743
Other receivables 18,860 19,027
Marketable securities 40,600 41,814
Cash and cash equivalents 22,096 3,086
Prepaid expenses 3,038 1,123
Unrealized exchange losses 7
Total 85,309 65,794
Total Assets 128,316 104,044
Liabilities and fund balance
December 31, 2020 December 31, 2019
Fund balance
True endowment 68,216 64,916
Reserves 884 884
Retained earnings 12,806 13,367
Net income / loss for the period -3,802 -562
Other endowment 7 7
Total 78,111 78,613
Quasi endowment
Allowence for contigencies 144 153
Funds reserved for future engagements 3,644 2,040
Total 3 788 2 193
Loans 5,476 2,100
Accounts payable 1,699 1,443
Tax and social debts 1,485 1,177
Investment payable 36
Other payable 2,787 2,008
Deferred income 34,933 16,510
Unrealized exchange gains 1 1
Total 46 417 23 238
Liabilities and fund balance 128,316 104,044

Income statement

(K€) Actual 2020 Actual 2019
Services revenue 106 710
Contributions 0 7
Income from third-party funders 16,905 11,227
Expenses refund 1,017 1,970
Other operating income 50 4
Uses of dedicated funds* 2,040 2,666*
Total income 20,118 13,918
External purchases and expenses 11,474 9,328
Financial aid 2,884 6,730
Taxes and duties 856 747
Salaries and social contributions 5,422 5,006
Depreciations 456 278
Dedicated funds carried over* 3,644 2,040*
Other operating income 49 49
Total expenses 24 783 22,138
Operating results -4,665 -8,220
Financial income
Dividends 899 3,150
Other financial income 812 1,302
Reverse on financial allowances 56 834
Net income from marketable securities 828 2,291
Total financial income 2,595 7,577
Financial expenses
Financial allowances 1,196 57
Other financial expenses 413 553
Total financial expenses 1,609 610
Financial results 986 6,967
Exceptional income
Exceptional income 1 66
Exceptional reverse in allowances
Total exceptional income 1 66
Exceptional costs
Exceptional expenses 1 1
Exceptional allowances for contingencies 123
Total exceptional costs 124 1
Exceptional result -123 65
Income tax
Total income 22,714 21,561
Total expenses 26,516 22,749
Intermediate balance -3,802 -1188

*The presentation of the 2020-2019 statutory accounts is subject to a modification (on the form) in the framework of the application of the new ANC regulation 2018-6. The actual 2019 has therefore been restated in form.

Breakdown of expenses

Excluding provisions and exceptional expenses

Missions 64%
Administration 31%
International support 5%

Geographical segmentation of activities

Africa 42%
Europe(1) 26%
Asia 18%
Indian Ocean 8%
Middle East 4%
Caribbean 1%
South America 1%

(1)Activities carried out by teams based in Europe, in or for the other countries (including coordination)

Breakdown of expenses by strategic area of focus

Excluding provisions and exceptional expenses

Diagnostics – Health Systems 62%
Applied Research 24%
Knowledge sharing 7%
Mother & Child Programs 7%

Breakdown of income

Excluding dedicated funds, provisions and non-recurring items

Sponsorship 33%
Public partnerships 28%
Endowment income & investment 17%
Financial products 7%
Other private partnerships 6%
Real estate income 4%
Fondation Christophe et Rodolphe Mérieux 2%
Other income 2%
Donations &legacies 1%

Changes in headcount* as at December 31, 2020

151 employees worldwide**
*Full-time equivalents
**Excluding interns, temporary employees

Dowload the statutory auditor’s report on the financial statements

Evolution of exspenses by startegic area of focus

In K€, excluding depreciation, provisions, financial expenses and future engagements