Nisa Leung, Qiming Venture Partners (l); Vikram Bajaj, Foresite Capital; Annie Lamont, Oak HC/FT; Bob Kocher, Venrock; and Vijay Pande, Andreessen Horowitz. Illustration: Mike Sullivan
Venture Capital Startups COVID-19

How 5 Biotech Investors Are Responding to the Covid-19 Crisis

Photo: Nisa Leung, Qiming Venture Partners (l); Vikram Bajaj, Foresite Capital; Annie Lamont, Oak HC/FT; Bob Kocher, Venrock; and Vijay Pande, Andreessen Horowitz. Illustration: Mike Sullivan

When an oxygen tank exploded aboard the ill-fated Apollo 13 in 1970, a team of NASA engineers used cardboard, plastic bags and duct tape to rescue the astronauts on board. 

Andreessen Horowitz general partner Vijay Pande, who invests out of the firm’s $750 million biotech fund, likens the Apollo 13 engineers to the entrepreneurs developing new technologies in response to Covid-19.

“It’s a triumph of engineering to find a way out,” Pande said. “Hopefully we can do it quickly so everyone can go back to normal. And as we rebuild the things that need to be rebuilt, we can ask ourselves: How can we avoid this in the future?”

The pandemic has sparked newfound interest in how technology can accelerate treatments and limit the spread of fatal diseases. Yet some venture capitalists have been investing at the intersection of health and technology for years. They’ve already made bets on companies like Cricket Health, which combines virtual and at-home care for kidney disease patients, and WeDoctor, a telemedicine company that’s planning a $10 billion Hong Kong initial public offering.

Get access to exclusive coverage
Read deeply reported stories from the largest newsroom in tech.
Latest Articles
 
The Briefing
Amazon’s Flying Camera Spotlights Privacy: The Information’s Tech Briefing

Amazon’s unveiling of new Echo and Ring devices today should test just how worried Americans are that tech companies are infringing on their privacy. That’s been a huge concern of parts of the news media in the past couple of years, focused on Facebook in particular. But there has been little evidence that privacy worries were stopping people from using Facebook.

But the reality of ...

Latest Briefs
 
Tesla’s Growth in China Helps Local Rivals to Raise More Money
Google Suffers Outage
Global Climate Tech Investment Reached $16 Billion Last Year
Stay in the know
Receive a summary of the day's top tech news—distilled into one email.
Access on the go
View stories on our mobile app and tune into our weekly podcast.
Join live video Q&A’s
Deep-dive into topics like startups and autonomous vehicles with our top reporters and other executives.
Enjoy a clutter-free experience
Read without any banner ads.
Startups Microsoft
Tech Execs Are Obsessing Over Note-Taking Apps. We Tested Them Out
Investors are newly enamored of note-taking apps, financing startups like Notion Labs, Coda and Roam Research at high valuations.
Profile Media/Telecom Markets
Bourkoff Is Star Media Dealmaker, But Can He Make Shift to Tech?
Aryeh Bourkoff hates wasting time. Rather than checking his overcoat when he goes out to lunch during New York’s frigid winters, the investment banker sometimes asks his assistant to walk with him to the restaurant so she can take his coat with her back to the office.
Exclusive Entertainment
ViacomCBS Probed Sexual Misconduct Allegation Against CEO Bob Bakish
ViacomCBS has been investigating an allegation of sexual misconduct by its CEO, Bob Bakish, according to several people familiar with the situation.
Venture Capital Asia
TikTok Valued at Around $60 Billion, As Deal Structure Emerges
Walmart and Oracle are valuing the soon-to-be formed TikTok Global at between $50 billion and $60 billion, according to two people familiar with the deal, as key aspects of one of the most convoluted global tech deals in history take shape.
Exclusive Policy Google
In Ironic Twist, Google’s Pro-Privacy Move Boosted U.S. Antitrust Probe
Google has taken a lot of heat for violating people’s privacy. Now it could get in trouble for trying to protect it.
The Takeaway Media/Telecom Google
Accepting Kickbacks, Publishers Are Playing Into Tech Companies’ Hands
For years, news publishers have been clamoring for Facebook, Google and Apple to pay for the news content that gets distributed through their services.