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May 31, 2016

Big Medical Charities See Yield From Biotech Investments

Major health-care charities are becoming important sources of capital for fledgling biotech firms working on new drugs and diagnostic tools and are seeing big profits on some investments, Reuters reports.

The Britain-based Wellcome Trust, which has a $26 million portfolio, stands to reap a windfall with U.S. regulatory approval Friday of Axumin, a cancer test developed by a start-up owned by Syncona, the trust’s biotech investment arm. Profits will flow back to the trust for its medical charitable work.

And the Gates Foundation netted more than $80 million on its program-related investment in Anacor Pharmaceuticals, a company working on treatments for neglected diseases. The foundation paid $5 million in 2013 for a stake in Anacor, which was recently purchased by drug maker Pfizer.