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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Three investment firms with deep health care investing experience are forming a new SPAC that will seek to buy a diagnostics company and take it public, Axios has learned.

Between the lines: New SPAC formation has slowed, due to a glut of offerings and new SEC scrutiny, but plenty of veteran investors are continuing to jump into the arena.

Details: Venture capital firms ARCH Venture Partners and Section 32 are teaming with Deerfield Management, which invests in both public and private companies.

  • The SPAC already has filed confidentially for its IPO with the SEC. A publicly-available prospectus is expected within the next month or so.

Go deeper

Updated Dec 9, 2020 - Axios Events

Watch: The Future of Venture Capital

On Wednesday, December 9 Axios' Dan Primack hosted a conversation on the future of venture capital featuring Mercato Partners director Joe Kaiser and Upfront Ventures managing partner Kara Nortman.

Kara Nortman unpacked the startup landscape, Los Angeles as an up-and-coming hub for venture capital, and trends in the industry.

  • On how the pandemic has changed founding startups: "You have to be intentional. You don't have serendipity. It doesn't exist. You have to even be intentional about your serendipity. My sense is more startups are starting really in a positive way, trying to solve big, real problems where you can collaborate with people in different ways and get to know people differently."
  • On how companies that prioritized resiliency are thriving: "A lot of companies that thought they would be impacted negatively actually became more efficient and really looked at how they're operating and really invested in culture...Startups that do what startups do best—which is move fast against macro changes—are coming out of this much, much stronger."

Joe Kaiser discussed the acceleration of 'work from home' and how geography will play less and less of a role in building successful companies.

  • "A couple of years ago, you had founders...moving to the Bay Area to build amazing companies. Today's [founders] are doing it in the towns where they grew up...We believe is going to be an explosive and dispersed entrepreneurial movement across the US. I think I think we are going to see a really distributed entrepreneurial environment for years to come."

Axios Chief Revenue Officer Fabricio Drumond hosted a View from the Top segment with president of the Venture Banking Group at Pacific Western Bank Sean Lynden, who unpacked how startups and the world of venture capital have approached the economic reality of the pandemic.

  • "I think that a lot of the venture capital community took a longer term approach to this. They saw this as being a short term hiccup...They've taken a long term approach, continuing to build good, solid companies that should come out of this stronger than ever. "

Thank you Pacific Western Bank for sponsoring this event.

Teachers across the U.S. protest laws restricting racism lessons

Thousands of teachers and other educators held protests across the U.S. Saturday against the actions of "at least 15 Republican-led states" that aim to restrict teaching about racism in class, the Washington Post reports.

Driving the news: There were demonstrations in at least 22 cities for the "Day of Action" to raise awareness about moves to limit students' exposure to critical race theory, which links racial discrimination to the nation's foundations and legal system, per Axios' Russell Contreras.

Updated 4 hours ago - Health

Lawsuit challenging Houston Methodist's COVID vaccine mandate dismissed

Houston Methodist Hospital in Houston, Texas. Photo: Brandon Bell/Getty Images

A federal judge on Saturday dismissed a lawsuit brought by 117 Houston Methodist staff over the hospital's policy requiring all employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

Why it matters: This is the first federal court ruling on a coronavirus vaccine mandate. Attorney Jared Woodfill, representing the plaintiffs, told KHOU 11 it's "the first battle in a long fight," as he vowed to file another lawsuit soon.

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