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Amgen Fills Gap for Early Biotech as Venture Funds Shy Off

When Amgen Inc., the world’s largest biotechnology firm, decided that heart drugs being developed by startup MiRagen Therapeutics Inc. were too risky for a partnership deal, the company didn’t just walk away.

Instead, Amgen turned to its venture capital arm to help fund the 4-year-old company. While Amgen has cut research spending, the Thousand Oaks, California-based biotech says its venture fund has invested in 26 companies since starting with $100 million in 2004.