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Some of the biggest names in biotech venture capital have charged their startups millions of dollars in “consulting fees” over the past decade, effectively taking back a small portion of the money they invested in a company.

The fees are usually charged in exchange for certain additional services — such as when a venture capital firm loans an experienced executive to a startup to lead the company through its early days. They are far more common for venture capital firms that fund life science companies than for those that focus on technology or other sectors, according to venture capital experts, and can range from a few dollars to tens or hundreds of thousands per year, according to a STAT review of Securities and Exchange Commission filings.

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