Gates Foundation turns biotech investor in $10M Liquidia deal

Liquidia Technologies is getting a $10 million boost from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to support its work on next-gen vaccines. Only this time the charitable foundation is taking an equity interest in the biotech company rather than simply offering another grant to help advance innovative technology.

"This was not a decision made with the snap of a finger," Doug Holtzman, a deputy director on the infectious diseases team at the Gates Foundation, tells Xconomy's Luke Timmerman. "We explained our charitable intent, as a slightly different kind of investor in the company. We don't want to interfere with their ability to make money, but we do have an expectation they'll make this technology available for (global health) product development."

The Gates money will add to the $25 million cache committed by a group of venture capitalists in a Series C last spring. Liquidia has been gaining substantial support for its work creating particles designed to mimic a virus, spurring an immune response. And the Gates Foundation, which is spending billions of dollars to create and distribute new and better vaccines, indicates that the Liquidia stake could serve as a template for similar biotech investments in the future.

- read the Liquidia release
- and here's the story from Xconomy