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Pension and Sovereign Wealth Capital Throw Money at Google’s Verily

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Verily, formerly known as Google Life Sciences, is a life sciences research and engineering organization that was formed by Alphabet Inc. The company received a US$ 1 billion investment in a round led by private equity firm Silver Lake Partners and was joined by the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan. Goldman Sachs and Co LLC acted as financial adviser to Verily on the capital raise. Verily has generated revenue under research and development services and is placed in the Other Bets segment of Google. For example with regard to R&D revenue, Gilead Sciences, Inc. is paying up to US$ 90 million over a 3-year period to Verily to run tests on the white blood cells of patients with rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, and lupus.

Burning Small Money Relative to Google Empire

Other Bets segment includes businesses such as Access, Calico, CapitalG, Chronicle, GV, Verily, Waymo, and X. From the 9-months ended September 30, 2018, the Google Other Bets segment generated US$ 441 million in revenue versus the US$ 346 million revenue figure from September 30, 2017 – ending 9 months. From the 9-months ended September 30, 2018, the Google Other Bets segment had an operating loss of US$ 2,030 million versus a US$ 1,986 million operating loss from September 30, 2017 – ending 9 months.

In December, Verily revealed a strategic partnership with Walgreens that will hone in on managing chronic conditions and lowering overall healthcare costs. Verily has announced a number of partnerships including firms such as Gilead and ResMed. Verily is taking a somewhat risky approach in having many projects done in partnerships with firms that are specialized in areas such as pharmaceuticals and devices. This leads to less control in product direction.

New Board Members

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Biogen and Eisai Battered by Markets Over Alzheimer’s Trial Fail

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Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Biogen Inc. (BIIB) took a tumble of 28% in the morning of March 21st after it announced that it would cease its Phase 3 trials of Aducanumab. The therapy was intended to slow cognitive decline in patients with early onset Alzheimer’s. Biogen continued falling on March 22, 2019. Biogen and its Japanese development partner Eisai Co., Ltd. (ESALY) shared that the decision was based on results from an analysis conducted by an independent committee. The analysis determined that the trials were not going to demonstrate that Aducanumab could slow cognitive impairment. Eisai also fell 28% on the day, though it staged a relatively modest recovery on March 22nd. Some large institutional holders of Biogen include APG Asset Management (manager of Stichting Pensioenfonds ABP), Norges Bank Investment Management (manager of Norway Government Pension Fund Global), and Swiss National Bank.

The last time a treatment for Alzheimer’s made it to market was in 2003. [ Content protected for Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Standard subscribers only. Please subscribe to view content. ]

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Italy’s CDP Inks Deals with Silk Road Fund and Bank of China

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China is building out its Belt Road Initiative (BRI) to continental Europe. On March 23, 2019, in Rome, Cassa depositi e prestiti Spa (CDP), Snam Spa (Snam) and Silk Road Fund Co., Ltd signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) aiming at exploring and evaluating common business opportunities. Under the MoU, CDP and the Silk Road Fund will facilitate cooperation by focusing on the potential investment opportunities in the following sectors: financial services, agriculture, food, technology, manufacturing, infrastructure and transportation, energy and white economy (healthcare and personal care assistance).

Originally part of ENI, Snam S.p.A. is an Italian natural gas infrastructure company. The Silk Road Fund and Snam will analyze possible collaboration initiatives in the area of natural gas infrastructure (pipelines, storage facilities, LNG infrastructure and biomethane plants) in support of the growth of the natural gas and biomethane sectors in China from a decarbonisation perspective. In its capacity of a national promotion institutions, CDP will look at co-financing initiatives that are consistent with its mission also in the fields of energy and sustainability.

Bank of China

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Angolan Government Recovers Assets from Quantum Global Investment Management

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The State Prosecutor’s Office of Angola said that the country has control of all financial and non-financial assets. The Angolan government claims it recovered US$ 3.35 billion of assets that were under the management of Swiss-based Quantum Global Investment Management AG. Quantum Global Investment Management was essentially the sole manager of assets for the Fundo Soberano de Angola (FSDEA).[ Content protected for Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Standard subscribers only. Please subscribe to view content. ]

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