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Over the past year, the humble blank-check IPO has risen from a disreputable relic of the 1980s into a bona fide financial trend. And biotech has been among the most ardent practitioners.

In 2020, 33 health care-focused blank-check firms have gone public, raising $6.3 billion from investors, according to SPAC Research. That outstrips the roughly $4 billion drug companies raised through traditional IPOs in all of 2019 (but falls well short of the $16 billion raised by biotech IPOs in 2020). As of Dec. 21, another eight health care blank-check firms are lined up to go public, and if they succeed, they’d add $1.4 billion more to the year’s tally.

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