Why a hot healthcare startup raised a fresh round from VCs instead of going public

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Today in healthcare news: We’re hitting pandemic fatigue and cases are spiking again, why 98point6 isn’t following some of its healthcare peers with a SPAC, and meet the 32-year-old who left investing to join an AI startup that’s now looking for COVID-19 treatments. 

Europe’s dramatic spike in coronavirus cases is what happens when reopening meets ‘pandemic fatigue’

Coronavirus cases are rising across Europe, particularly among younger groups, the World Health Organization said Monday.
With many European nations reopening bars, restaurants, and schools, young people have more opportunities to socialize.
But people may also be experiencing “pandemic fatigue” that encourages them to exercise riskier behavior, according to a recent WHO report. 

Read the full story from Aria Bendix here>>

Healthcare startups are racing to the public markets. The CEO of 98point6 shares why that didn’t make sense and why decided to raise $118 million from private investors instead.

Telemedicine startup 98point6 said Thursday that it raised $118 million in Series E financing from L Catterton and Activant Capital.
Investor interest in telemedicine and digital health startups has not been confined to private markets, with several acquisitions and public debuts resulting from increased public market interest.
Cofounder and CEO Robbie Cape said that pursuing a public offering via a reverse merger with a blank-check company was not aligned with his company’s core mission and fundraising strategy at the moment.

Read the full story from Megan Hernbroth here>>

A former VC joined a startup looking to change how we treat cancer. Instead, the 32-year-old has turned her attention to COVID-19 treatments.

Anna Huyghues-Despointes was a venture investor with Balderton Capital when she met Owkin’s founders. The work they were doing convinced her to join the startup as an early employee.
Owkin’s technology can read and analyze complex medical data from sources such as photos or scans, cataloging the information in a way that is easy to use for researchers, Huyghues-Despointes said.
The technology was originally developed for researching cancer diagnoses and treatments, but in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, research on the novel pathogen with unknown long-term effects has become a big focus. 

Read the full story from Megan Hernbroth here>>

More we’re reading: 

The Trump administration forced states to bid eBay-style for masks and ventilators, according to an explosive new documentary (Business Insider)

A Dutch health insurer just won a patent lawsuit against AstraZeneca (Stat News)

Markets expect any COVID-19 vaccine approved this year to only be 50% to 60% effective, asset manager Balyasny says (Markets Insider)

FDA commissioner Stephen Hahn talks to Bloomberg about the trial pauses as drugmakers race toward effective COVID-19 vaccines and treatments (Bloomberg) 

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