What Andreessen’s ‘Bio Fund III’ means for healthcare

February 5, 2020, 12:41 AM UTC

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Happy Tuesday, readers.

When Andreessen Horowitz pours money into an industry, word tends to get around. So when the venture capital giant pours $750 million into a single sector, you really know that something big is going on.

On Tuesday, Andreessen announced a third iteration of its biopharmaceutical and digital health fund, dubbed simply “Bio Fund III.” The firm used aspirational language to describe its ambitions and promote what is literally a three-quarters of a billion dollar fund.

“Software is now affecting not just how we do not just one thing—cloning DNA, or engineering genes—but how we do it all across the board, blurring lines, breaking down traditional silos, changing our processes and business models,” the company said.

This particular fund, launched four years after Andreessen’s initial bio fund, will focus on early-stage companies at the intersection of healthcare and technology.

What this all means? Let’s look over just some of the underlying trends.

Algorithms are now as important to the drug discovery process as petri dishes; consumer devices are tools of population health research; and the reality of a digitally connected world signals an opportunity for businesses to take advantage of this new paradigm.

So maybe it’s not too surprising that Andreessen is pouring this much cash into the effort—especially since it wants to get in on the ground level when it can.

Read on for the day’s news.

Sy Mukherjee


Telehealth, for the flu season. Can telehealth help stave off common illnesses like the flu? Michigan-based Spectrum Health believes so, and is encouraging people with flu symptoms to use virtual doctor visits in lieu of going to a hospital. The hope is to stop the spread of illnesses in settings where transmission is just about inevitable. (MLive)


Walgreens to pay $7.5 million over phony pharmacist scandal. Pharmacy giant Walgreens will pay a $7.5 million fine over one of the more bizarre medical scandals in recent memory: a Walgreens employee who didn't have a pharmacy license was accused of impersonating a pharmacist and issuing nearly 750,000 prescriptions. The accused, Kim Thien Le, pleaded not guilty to the charges, and Walgreens agreed to settle. (Fortune)


Hong Kong health care workers are on strike. As coronavirus woes continue to swell in Asia, thousands of healthcare workers in Hong Kong have gone on strike for a second day. The public sector federation of Hospital Authority Employees Alliance (HAEA) in Hong Kong is demanding a closure of the border with China. The strike encompasses some 10% of public hospital workers in the region. (Fortune)


World's most lucrative gambling hub shuts down over coronavirusby Eamon Barrett

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Target and Walmart gain ground in the e-commerce warsby Lance Lambert

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