A $1 billion fund backed by over 20 drugmakers made its first set of investments on April 4 in two biotechnology startups, nearly two years after it was launched to help struggling antibiotic makers tackle the threat of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

Novartis said on March 22 the Swiss drugmaker was suspending capital investments, media advertising, and other promotional activities in Russia but remained committed to providing access to the company’s s medicine there.

Atlas Venture successfully raised $450 million at the close of the venture capital firm’s thirteenth fundraising activity to support efforts to create and invest in new biotech firms that address many unmet patient needs. 

A little more than a month after Bay Area-based Freenome snagged $300 million in a Series D financing round, the company scored an additional $290 million from an investment made by Swiss pharma giant Roche.

Is the life sciences industry a good bet right now? BioSpace put a poll in the field, which elicited mixed results. In order to get a clearer picture, BioSpace spoke to a few knowledgeable industry experts.  

One year ago, BioSpace reported that Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. was investing heavily in four pharmaceutical companies: Pfizer, Bristol Myers Squibb, AbbVie, and Merck & Co. This week, Berkshire announced that it has scaled back those investments and completely eliminated its stake in Merck. 

Autolus Therapeutics is receiving as much as $250 million in funding after signing a collaboration deal with Blackstone Life Sciences to support the company’s cancer treatment research.

Syneos Health announced a strategic partnership with Ride Health to offer non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT) to clinical trial participants.

Sanofi is investing more into its transplant operations through a $1.9 billion merger deal with Kadmon Holdings, another biopharma company that develops therapies for diseases with large unmet medical needs.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will make a $35 million equity investment in privately owned Exscientia Ltd. to fund the development of antiviral drugs including for the coronavirus, the Oxford-based drug developer said on Sept. 8.