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 and 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 resource-limited countries for over 50 years.

Operating directly in more than 25 countries, it is committed to strengthening local capacities, particularly in clinical biology, in order to improve care, surveillance and response to epidemics.

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.

It is particularly involved in the public health issues that have the greatest impact in the countries where it operates, such as antimicrobial resistance, tuberculosis, acute respiratory infections and HIV.

Committed to a global health approach, the Mérieux Foundation goes beyond medical care to include all the health and socio-economic issues that influence the well-being of the populations in the countries where it operates.

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
  • 18 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 15 countries
  • More than 30 scientific conferences hybrids or online
  • 168 employees in 15 countries
  • An annual budget of over 24 million euros

1967 Mobilized in the fight against infectious diseases since 1967

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 18 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 teams


  • Lyon, Headquaters: 70 employees
  • Annecy, Les Pensières Center for Global Health: 14 employees
Mérieux Foundation teams

United States

  • Mérieux Foundation team: 1 employee
Rodolphe Mérieux Laboratories, Mérieux Foundation teams


  • Rodolphe Mérieux Laboratory of Port-au-Prince
  • Mérieux Foundation team: 1 consultant
Rodolphe Mérieux Laboratories


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


  • Rodolphe Mérieux Laboratory in Institut Pasteur de Tunis, Tunis
Rodolphe Mérieux Laboratories


  • Rodolphe Mérieux Laboratory in Institut Pasteur du Maroc, Casablanca*
Mérieux Foundation teams, Partner Laboratories

Burkina Faso

  • Laboratory of Emerging and Re-emerging Pathogens, University Hospital Sanou Souro, Bobo-Dioulasso*
  • Mérieux Foundation team: 2 employees
Rodolphe Mérieux Laboratories, Mérieux Foundation teams


  • Rodolphe Mérieux Laboratory in Charles Mérieux Center for Infectious Disease, Bamako
  • Mérieux Foundation team: 6 employees
Rodolphe Mérieux Laboratories, Mérieux Foundation teams


  • Rodolphe Mérieux Laboratory of Beirut at Saint Joseph University, Beirut
  • Mérieux Foundation team: 3 employees
Rodolphe Mérieux Laboratories


  • Rodolphe Mérieux Laboratory in Mosul*
Partner Laboratories

Republic of Congo

  • Christophe Mérieux Laboratory at the Congolese Foundation for Medical Research, Brazzaville
Mérieux Foundation teams, Rodolphe Mérieux Laboratories


  • Rodolphe Mérieux Laboratory in Charles Mérieux Center for Infectious Disease, Antananarivo
  • Mérieux Foundation team: 10 employees
Partner Laboratories


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


  • Rodolphe Mérieux Laboratory of Chittagong at the Bangladesh Institute of Tropical & Infectious Diseases (BITID), Chittagong
Partner Laboratories, Mérieux Foundation teams


  • Public Health Laboratory, Mandalay
  • Mérieux Foundation team: 15 employees
Rodolphe Mérieux Laboratories, Mérieux Foundation teams


  • Christophe Mérieux Laboratory of Beijing in the Institute of Pathogen Biology, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, Beijing
  • Mérieux Foundation team: 1 employee
Rodolphe Mérieux Laboratories, Mérieux Foundation teams


  • Rodolphe Mérieux Laboratory in Charles Mérieux Center for Infectious Disease, Vientiane
  • Mérieux Foundation team: 10 employees
Rodolphe Mérieux Laboratories, Mérieux Foundation teams


  • Rodolphe Mérieux Laboratory of Phnom Penh at the University of Health Sciences (UHS) Faculty of Pharmacy, Phnom Penh
  • Mérieux Foundation team: 5 employees
Mérieux Foundation teams


  • Mérieux Foundation team: 16 employees
Mérieux Foundation teams


  • Mérieux Foundation team: 5 employees
Mérieux Foundation teams


  • Mérieux Foundation team: 8 employees
Mérieux Foundation teams


  • Mérieux Foundation team: 3 employees
Rodolphe Mérieux Laboratories


  • Rodolphe Mérieux Laboratory at the National Institute of Biomedical Research (INRB), Goma
Rodolphe Mérieux Laboratories


  • Hygiene and Environment Laboratory at the Centre Pasteur du Cameroun, Yaoundé*

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.

In a world faced with a serious threat of infection and major geopolitical instability, our Foundation is now fully operational and ready to take on its public health role and support vulnerable populations in Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Latin America, and Haiti. We carry out this role as part of a global healthcare approach, which goes beyond providing medical care to include nutrition, the quality of water and the environment, and education.

We are able do this thanks to our local knowledge, the strength of our network of outpost Rodolphe Mérieux laboratories (now present in ten or so countries) and the mutual trust we have been able to establish over time with our partners in these regions. Our laboratories are now all managed by local biologists and health workers, who are perfectly familiar and in tune with the current situation in their countries.

This strategy has enabled us to reinforce our presence in our main area of expertise, clinical biology, in West Africa, and in particular in Burkina Faso, a country with which we have been working since 2009. We have decided to set up a new Rodolphe Mérieux Laboratory in Ouagadougou, work on which is set to commence soon. This new laboratory will be integrated in the epidemiological surveillance and research networks that we are setting up with our partners in this region of Africa: ResaoLab, G5 Sahel, and GABRIEL.

This new project mirrors the sending of two P2/P3 container laboratories to the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 2019, in response to the Ebola crisis. A few months later, during the Covid pandemic, these diagnosis units in Goma became reference laboratories.

The same kind of reactivity allowed us to intervene rapidly in Madagascar to support the most vulnerable groups: mothers and their children. We were able to provide a targeted response to the malnutrition crisis affecting this country, and continue our actions to support education, an essential cornerstone in our global healthcare approach.

Following our initial contact in October 2019 with the President of Madagascar, who warned us about the food crisis affecting the southern part of the country, it took just a few months, in partnership with Nutriset, for us to send a container plant to Tolagnaro to produce nutritional supplements. This plant is now fully operational and, buoyed by its success, we are planning to roll out the project on a larger scale while giving the local economy a boost by using local farmers to produce raw materials.

At the same time, we stepped up the support we have been giving Father Pedro for several years now in order to set up a language university for young people, supported by the Akamasoa association.

Our Foundation has many reasons to be proud of our achievements and believe in the future. These include making diagnosis accessible to as many people as possible in Africa, ensuring better nutrition for many children in Madagascar, and providing education for younger generations.

2021 highlighted our Foundation’s emergency response system and our reactivity as we dealt with an ever-increasing number of emergency situations.
Alain MÉRIEUX . President
© Martin Grosjean

The Foundation

Director General’s message

Month after month and in one country after another, the deployment of our projects was hampered by various obstacles relating to health, security, or the climate. The environments we now find ourselves working in are becoming increasingly complex and are forcing us to redouble our efforts and ensure greater flexibility, adaptability and even innovation to meet the growing needs of our beneficiary populations.

All this disruption has only served to confirm the importance of biological diagnosis and the need to strengthen overall health systems even further, particularly in developing countries. The historic work of the Mérieux Foundation, based on developing and supporting infrastructures to give populations access to high-quality diagnosis, has therefore naturally been reinforced.

Some of the key achievements of the past year include the inauguration of the Rodolphe Mérieux Laboratory in Tunis and the laying of the foundation stone for the future Rodolphe Mérieux Laboratory in Casablanca. Other construction and extension projects have been launched, with the same goal of tackling infectious diseases over the long term.

At the same time, the Foundation’s expertise in dealing with antimicrobial resistance, a key public health issue, was reflected in the development of the second edition of the international course on antimicrobial resistance (AMR course) organized at the Les Pensières Center, as well as in the growing number of projects and partnerships in 2021, particularly in Madagascar, Laos, and Senegal.

The recent crises that have shaken the entire world and the significant deterioration in the economic and social situation of the countries in which we operate have shown us the extent to which healthcare is intrinsically linked with other areas, such as nutrition, education, and the environment. It is this global healthcare vision, cherished by the Mérieux family, that has led us to step up our Mother & Child programs this year.

Despite these difficulties, the efforts and commitment of the people working for the Mérieux Foundation have led to some major achievements, which are presented in this annual report. I would like to thank all our employees and underline the importance of forging links between head office and our work in the field, which are essential for the smooth operation of our Foundation.

The progress we make is only possible thanks to the renewed confidence of our partners and we are honored to receive their support. This allows us to pursue our mission to serve populations in our “historic” countries. Their support also encourages us to intervene in other areas with growing needs, always adapting every day to local priorities.

Many consequences of the 2020 pandemic continued to be felt in 2021. Once again, it was an extraordinary year for the activities led by the Mérieux Foundation.
Jean Pierre BOSSER . Director General
© Olivia Mérieux

The Foundation

Governance 2021

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

† Died on February 18, 2022

Management committee

  • Jean-Pierre BOSSER
    Director General
    Medical & Scientific Director / Deputy Director General
  • 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
  • Bénédicte PANSIER
    Director of Les Pensières Center for Global Health

Scientific Advisory Board

  • Dr. Marie-Paule KIENY
    Présidente, Inserm (France)
  • Dr. Valérie D’ACREMONT
    Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Switzerland)
  • 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. Hubert ENDTZ
    Erasmus University Rotterdam (Netherlands)
  • Dr. Rana HAJJEH
    WHO/Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean (Egypt)
  • Prof. Francine NTOUMI
    Congolese Foundation for Medical Research (Congo)
  • Dr. Christophe PAQUET*
    Agence française de développement (France)
  • Prof. Jean-William PAPE
    GHESKIO centers (Haiti)
  • 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)

*Until August 26, 2021

Mérieux Foundation USA

Board of Directors

  • Pr David L. HEYMANN
    Preésident, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (UK)
  • Dr Jon ANDRUS
    Center for Global Health, University of Colorado; Department of Global Health, Milken Institute of Public Health, George Washington University (USA)
  • Didier CHERPITEL
    Mérieux Foundation Board of Directors (France)
  • Dr Kevin DE COCK
    CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) (Kenya)
  • Dr Warren JOHNSON
    Center for Global Health, Weill Cornell Medical College (USA)
  • Karine MEHLER
    Mérieux Foundation Board of Directors (France)
  • Clare O’BRIEN
    Shearman & Sterling (USA)

Management committee

    Chief Executive Officer
    Director of Finance & Operations
  • Allegra MOLKENTHIN
    Program & Operations Officer

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)
  • 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)
  • International Organization for Migration (IOM)
  • L’Initiative (Expertise France)
  • Luxembourg Government Aid and Development Agency (LuxDev)
  • Pan American Health Organization (PAHO)
  • Prince’s Government of MonacoIFPMA
  • Région Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes
  • Région Ile de France
  • The Joint Programming Initiative on Antimicrobial Resistance (JPIAMR)
  • U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
  • UK Foreign Commonwealth Development Office (FCDO)
  • United States Agency for International Development (USAID)
  • World Bank – via the West African Health Organisation (WAHO)
  • World Health Organization (WHO)

Foundations & NGOs

  • Alliance et Missions Médicales (Lebanon and Madagascar)
  • Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Fondation AnBer
  • Fondation Christophe et Rodolphe Mérieux
  • Fondation Pierre Fabre
  • Fondation Raoul Follereau
  • Fondation Saint-Irénée
  • Fonds Decitre / Lire et Sourire
  • Global Alliance for Rabies Control (GARC)
  • Institut Pasteur
  • NCTLD – National Center Tuberculosis
  • PATH
  • Red Cross France
  • The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (Global Fund)
  • Wellcome Trust
  • Zazakely Association

Universities & research institutes

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

Industry & companies

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

The Foundation

Accounts and key figures 2021

Balance sheet

December 31, 2021
December 31, 2020
Fixed assets
Intangible fixed assets 1,158 1,431
Property, plant and equipment 4,536 4,266
Investments and other financial assets 38,541 37,310
Total 44,235 43,007
Current assets
Accounts receivable 952 708
Other receivables 17,560 18,860
Marketable securities 38,600 40,600
Cash and cash equivalents 22,441 22,096
Prepaid expenses 4,591 3,038
Unrealized exchange losses 2 7
Total 84,146 85,309
Total Assets 128,381 128,316
Liabilities and fund balance
December 31, 2021 December 31, 2020
Fund balance
True endowment 68,216 68,216
Reserves 884 884
Retained earnings 9,003 12,806
Net income / loss for the period 6,433 -3,802
Other endowment 7 7
Total 84,544 78,111
Quasi endowment
Allowence for contigencies 238 144
Funds reserved for future engagements 3,961 3,644
Total 4,199 3,788
Loans 5,010 5,476
Accounts payable 1,541 1,699
Tax and social debts 1,485 1,177
Investment payable 36
Other payable 288 36
Deferred income 26,819 34,933
Unrealized exchange gains 3 1
Total 39,638 46,417
Liabilities and fund balance 128,381 128,316

Income statement

(K€) Actual 2021 Actual 2020
Services revenue 165 106
Contributions 0 0
Income from third-party funders 20,310 16,905
Expenses refund 1,073 1,017
Other operating income 87 50
Uses of dedicated funds 3,644 2,040
Total income 25,280 20,118
External purchases and expenses 13,240 11,474
Financial aid 3,869 2,884
Taxes and duties 765 856
Salaries and social contributions 5,749 5,422
Depreciations 719 456
Dedicated funds carried over 3,961 3,664
Other operating income 102 49
Total expenses 28,404 24,783
Operating results -3,124 -4,665
Financial income
Dividends 911 899
Other financial income 3,678 812
Reverse on financial allowances 324 56
Net income from marketable securities 5,000 828
Total financial income 9,922 2,595
Financial expenses
Financial allowances 170 1,196
Other financial expenses 118 413
Total financial expenses 288 1,609
Financial results 9,634 986
Exceptional income
Exceptional income 44 1
Exceptional reverse in allowances
Total exceptional income 44 1
Exceptional costs
Exceptional expenses 2 1
Exceptional allowances for contingencies 117 123
Total exceptional costs 120 124
Exceptional result -76 -123
Income tax
Total income 35,246 22,714
Total expenses 28,812 26,516
Intermediate balance 6,433 -3,802

Breakdown of expenses

Excluding provisions and exceptional expenses

Missions 76%
Administration 19%
International support 5%

Geographical segmentation of activities

Africa 35%
Asia 23%
Europe(1) 23%
Madagascar 12%
Middle East 3%
Caribbean 3%
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 71%
Applied Research 18%
Mother & Child Programs 8%
Knowledge sharing 3%

Breakdown of income

Excluding dedicated funds, provisions and non-recurring items

Financial products & Real estate income 31%
Public partnerships 29%
Sponsorship 23%
Other private partnerships 12%
Fondation Christophe et Rodolphe Mérieux 3%
Other income 1%
Donations & legacies 0

Changes in headcount* as at December 31, 2021

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

Dowload the statutory auditor’s report on the financial statements
For the year ending December 31, 2021

Evolution of expenses by strategic area of focus

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