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Over the last six years, a venture capital team run by Bayer invested roughly $1.5 billion into small biotech startups and now the unit is ramping up with plans to invest a nearly identical pot of money — this time, $1.3 billion — in half the time, according to STAT. Bayer launched its venture arm, Leaps by Bayer, in 2015. The team scouts out startups that the drugmaker could invest in and potentially make a bit of money. But more importantly, its mandate is to find biotech and agriculture startups that might one day make for interesting R&D partners, or acquisition targets.


Novartis plans to make growth in the U.S. its top geographic priority, even after laws were passed to rein in drug prices in the world’s largest pharmaceutical market, Reuters writes. As part of an investor event on Thursday, the company indicated it would adopt a “U.S.-first mindset,” increase the share of U.S. patients in clinical trials, build capability in the country, and give U.S. staff and executives more say and better career opportunities within the organization. At the same time, Novartis aims to be a top-three player in China, up from fifth place last year among multinational pharmaceutical companies.

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