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At the start of 2021, blue-chip biotech investor ARCH Venture Partners and a relatively unknown sovereign wealth fund were in the middle of building a new biotech startup when the unthinkable happened.

Alaa Halawa, executive director at United Arab Emirates’ state-owned Mubadala Capital Ventures, was waiting for a phone call from ARCH Managing Director Paul Thurk to go over their latest to-do list. But Thurk never showed up. A little while later, ARCH Managing Partner Kristina Burow called with bad news: Thurk, who was leading the venture, had suddenly died.

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