Last year private venture investors registered a blistering pace in the global biotech industry, with the average round swelling in size as the top 10 financings grabbed the biggest slice of the pie analysts at EP Vantage have seen in the 9 years they've been gathering stats. But while the money flowed like never before, the number of companies enjoying the surge actually dwindled, barely beating the all-time low, the analysts add, based on numbers from Evaluate Pharma.
That IPO boom was just what the VC doctor ordered. Between high-priced buyout deals and new offerings, the venture funds got the exits they needed to look good to investors and bring in fresh funds. This week we saw OrbiMed, a global player, close its $950 million fund, following Sofinnova Partners' $324 million play in Paris. And it's no surprise that they unveiled record sums.
Non-VC or crossover investors are helping drive the rebound in IPOs among healthcare companies. And it's proving to be a winning strategy for both investors and the newly public companies.
The venture boom that funneled billions of dollars into life sciences companies last year included a big surge in first-time deals, according to a fresh analysis of the numbers for 2014. And the boom in venture investing looks set to continue well into 2015.
The deal gives Novartis access to the most active digital health VC team--Rock Health reports Qualcomm Ventures has struck 21 deals since 2011--and further strengthens the ties between the two companies.
Drug delivery specialist Genisphere announced that it has raised $2 million in private funding to advance its 3DNA nanotechnology platform through collaborations with pharma companies. The funders are existing investors including Corporate Fuel Partners.
Clinverse and Comprehend have raised a total of $30.1 million in separate Series C and B financing rounds, giving both companies the cash to push ahead with their expansion plans.
After weeks of increasingly confident media speculation, Google has confirmed it is setting up an outpost of its venture capital wing in Europe. And with a brief to follow a similar strategy to the U.S. team that invested in Flatiron Health, DNAnexus and other biotech IT startups, the $100 million fund is a new source of capital for European life science innovators.
The VC industry turned in bleak numbers for biotech deal-making in the first quarter of 2013, with one key measure of early-stage activity in the life science sector falling to its lowest level in almost 18 years.
The buzz on the tech beat was that information giant Elsevier was nearing a buyout of the startup Mendeley, which has an open platform for scientists to share information. Sources place the price tag for Mendeley at around $100 million.