(Bloomberg) -- Family offices for the billionaire Waltons and George Soros bought new stakes in biotechnology companies in the fourth quarter, as drug developers gain favor among wealthy investors.

WIT, which stands for the Walton Investment Team, acquired an $8.2 million position in Madrigal Pharmaceuticals, which develops liver disease treatments, filings show. 

Soros Fund Management took a new $24.5 million stake in pharmaceutical company Merck & Co., and another worth $19.2 million in weight-loss drug maker Eli Lilly & Co.

Other investment firms took stakes in separate biotech companies.

Iconiq Capital, a multifamily office linked to technology moguls including Meta Platforms Inc. founder Mark Zuckerberg, added a new $57.9 million position in Neumora Therapeutics Inc., a drug maker focused on brain disorders. 

David Bonderman’s family office Wildcat Capital Management purchased a relatively small stake — $373,000 — in Praxis Precision, another company focused on treatments for neurological conditions.

Ripple Effects

The positions were reflected in 13F forms, which money managers overseeing more than $100 million in US equities are required to file within 45 days of the end of each quarter. They offer a rare, though incomplete, window on the investment decisions of hedge funds and large family offices. 

Health-related investments are often popular areas for the world’s super-rich and their family offices for the large gains they can offer and potential to see ripple effects in the real world. 

German billionaires Thomas and Andreas Struengmann, for instance, helped to set up BioNTech SE, which partnered with Pfizer Inc. to develop the first Covid vaccine to be approved by the US Food and Drug Administration. 

Investments in medical devices and health technology ranked as one of the most popular investment themes last year in a UBS Group AG survey of family offices. 

Read More: Why Billionaires Have Family Offices and What They Do 

Other 13F highlights from the fourth quarter included: 

  • Soros Fund Management sold out of chip designer Arm Holdings Plc before its recent rally.
  • Stanley Druckenmiller’s Duquesne Family Office added exposure to companies poised to benefit from artificial intelligence, including Arista Networks Inc., Marvell Technology Inc. and Nutanix Inc. It sold out of large technology companies including Alphabet Inc. and Amazon.com Inc.
  • Michael Platt’s BlueCrest Capital Management added Nvidia Corp., while selling out of the iShares China Large-Cap ETF.

©2024 Bloomberg L.P.