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The economy is grinding to a near-halt because of Covid-19. In the biotechnology sector, which is normally insulated from the rest of the market, clinical trials are being paused and even laboratory work has been stopped, with cell cultures put in the freezer. It would hardly seem to be time for investors to put money to work.

Yet two of the sector’s largest venture capital firms — ARCH Venture Partners and Flagship Pioneering — say that is exactly what they plan to do.


On Thursday, ARCH, which has been responsible for seeding companies from DNA sequencer maker Illumina to drug maker Alnylam, said it had raised two funds with investments worth a combined $1.46 billion to invest in early stage biotech companies that the partners believe will be transformative.

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