Venture capital outfit Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers is starting a $200 million life sciences fund--the KPCB Pandemic and Bio Defense Fund--that will concentrate much of its money on the development of new therapies for avian flu. The venture group wants to use the money to speed preparations for a possible global pandemic. Venture capitalists will encourage biopharma and university groups to steer more research work toward bird flu. BioCryst Pharmaceuticals of Birmingham, which is developing the antiviral drug Peramivir, is first up for funding.
- read this report from Red Herring for more
PLUS: IBM and the Scripps Research Institute have announced a collaboration to conduct advanced research on pandemic viruses. Release
ALSO: A new think tank report says that an avian flu pandemic could kill 142 million people if the worst-case scenario comes to pass. Report