Dealflow | March 21, 2017

Two Gates Foundation alumni raise $200 million for biotech and health venture fund

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Two Gates Foundation alumni have raised $200 million for a biotech and health venture fund.

Biomatics Capital, based in Seattle, will invest $5 million to $10 million in companies focused on the cutting edge of genomics and data-driven health care.

The principals are Boris Nikolic, the former chief science adviser to Bill Gates, and Julie Sunderland, who ran the foundation’s $1.5 billion mandate for program-related investments.

Under Sunderland’s direction, the Gates Foundation invested $167 million in 14 biotech companies looking for vaccines and drugs for diseases such as malaria, HIV, and typhoid (see David Bank’s Q&A with Sunderland, “Leveraging the Balance Sheet”).

Nikolic helped Bill himself invest in Editas Medicine Inc., which is developing the powerful — and controversial — DNA-editing technology known as CRISPR, and serves on Editas’ board of directors.

Biomatics has invested in eight companies, including AiCure in New York, which uses smartphones to track when patients take their medications.

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