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Arbutus Biopharma, a Canadian developer of hepatitis B virus therapies, has agreed to a US$116 million investment from Roivant Sciences, the Swiss biotech company led by former hedge fund Vivek Ramaswamy. Roviant already held a 29.1% equity stake in Arbutus, which had a market cap of around $340 million as of Friday's market close.

Why it matters: Because Roivant really needs a win, less than two months after securing a $1.1 billion investment led by SoftBank Vision Fund. A publicly-traded subsidiary called Axovant Sciences — which issued the largest biotech IPO of all time — last week learned that its lead Alzheimer's drug candidate doesn't work, which sent its shares down from $24.25 to just $6.26 in a single day of trading.

Go deeper: "This is not one of Ramaswamy's classic plays. His whole strategy centers on rescuing clinical-stage assets languishing in the pipelines of the world's biggest biopharma companies and putting them through an efficient late-stage effort, ramping up new drug products better than any of the majors. His first effort at that, with a 5HT6 Alzheimer's drug, proved a complete failure." -- John Carroll, Endpoint

Go deeper

Updated 25 mins ago - Health

California surpasses 50,000 COVID-19 deaths

A man prepares a funeral arrangement in in Los Angeles, California, Feb. 12. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

California's death toll from COVID-19 surpassed 50,000 on Wednesday, per Johns Hopkins data.

The big picture: It's the first state to record more than 50,000 deaths from the coronavirus.

2 hours ago - Technology

Facebook bans Myanmar military

A protester holds a placard with a three-finger salute in front of a military tank parked aside the street in front of the Central Bank building during a demonstration in Yangon, Myanmar. Photo by Aung Kyaw Htet/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Facebook said on Wednesday it would ban the rest of the Myanmar military from its platform.

The big picture: It comes some three weeks after the military overthrew the civilian government in a coup and detained leader Aung San Suu Kyi, causing massive protests to erupt throughout the country. Military leaders have been using internet blackouts to try to maintain power in light of the coup.

It's harder to fill the Cabinet

Data: Chamberlain, 2020, "United States of America Cabinet Appointments Dataset" Chart: Will Chase/Axios

It's harder now for presidents to win Senate confirmation for their Cabinet picks, an Axios data analysis of votes for and against nominees found.

Why it matters: It's not just Neera Tanden. The trend is a product of growing polarization, rougher political discourse and slimming Senate majorities, experts say. It means some of the nation's most vital federal agencies go without a leader and the legislative authority that comes with one.