Venture capital funding within the life sciences industry has been on a tear in recent years. VC investments broke records in 2015, receded slightly in 2016, and surged back in 2017 to break more records, particularly in the biotech and genetics sectors. Funding for biotech startups broke $10 billion last year, a massive jump from the $7.3 billion record set in 2015. The nearly 37% jump in VC funding will be hard to beat in 2018, but the same was said once the books were closed in 2015.
Some recent successes have fueled new funds from traditional players while attracting non-traditional firms to the biotech sector, BioSpace reports. Non-traditional players like Edinburgh-based Baillie Gifford, “which typically does investment on behalf of pension funds, has put over $1 billion into biotech over the past couple of years…making big bets on companies like CureVac, Intarcia, and Denali Therapeutics.”
Biotech venture capital deals in 2017 were larger in size but fewer in number, a trend I’ve discussed previously within the oncology sector. From 2010-2017, only 17 biotechs received investments of $200 million or more in a single round, and many of those deals occurred in the past couple of years.1 To illustrate this point, here are a few examples highlighted by BioSpace:
- Intarcia – its ongoing Series EE round has raised over $600 million
- 23andMe – raised $250 million in September ‘17
- WuXi NextCODE – raised $240 million in September ‘17
- Ginkgo BioWorks – raised a $275 million Series D in December ‘17
- BioNTech – raised a $270 million Series A round in January ‘18
Our team at Pearl Pathways has helped several VC funded biotech companies navigate product development pathways to successfully deliver products to market and patients. We also work directly with venture capital firms to provide education on various regulatory issues regularly impacting startups to help them better identify potential investment opportunities. Contact us today to discuss how me may best assist your team.