Alaska Permanent Fund betting big on biotech startups
- The Alaska Permanent Fund has staked three biotech startups with over $280 million since 2013, according to Bloomberg.
- Sitting on $50 billion in oil money, the Fund invested heavily in Juno Therapeutics in 2013. Its originally $129 million investment has grown to over $1 billion as Juno's fortunes have climbed.
- Denali Therapeutics and Codiak BioSciences have also been the recipient of the Fund's biotech betting, receiving $153 million and $80 million respectively. All three companies are named in homage to Alaska.
Juno is one of the front-runners in the promising CAR-T field, competing with Kite and Novartis. It's relationship with the Alaska Fund grew from a happenstance meeting between Juno co-founder Larry Corey, and fund manager David Fallace, Bloomberg reports.
The Alaska Permanent Fund has the advantage of patience, being willing to sit on low-liquidity investments for years. While Juno's therapies have garnered substantial interest and acclaim, the company has yet to commercialize its product or turn a net profit.
Biotech stocks overall have stumbled notably of late, but as Juno and others move towards the market, the Alaska Fund may see even greater returns.