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Venture Capital Funding and M&A Quarterly

Biotechnology • Pharmaceuticals • Medical Devices

1st Quarter, 2009 – United States

Published by: VentureDeal


Life Science companies secured $1.72 billion in venture capital financing during the first quarter of 2009, representing a 16% decrease versus the fourth quarter of 2008. This continues the downward trend of funding for the three sectors of Biotechnology, Medical Devices and Pharmaceuticals. The funding was allocated between 176 companies, a 17% decrease versus the previous quarter in the aggregate.

The Biotechnology sector received the most amount of funding by a slight margin, raising $628 million among 72 companies. The Medical Device sector came in second with $604 million, representing a 9% decrease versus the previous quarter, and continuing its previous downward trend. Pharmaceutical startups received $484 million between 43 companies, a 33% decrease in amounts funded.

Funding Activity


Biotechnology funding reversed its previous upward trend by posting significantly decreased funding amounts and numbers of companies funded. The largest venture financing during the quarter was Sangart’s $50 million sixth round. The company researches and commercializes technologies related to oxygen transport agents.

BioVex also completed a sixth round of funding, receiving $40 million from a large syndicate of venture capital firms. The company said it would use the funding proceeds to begin its pivotal Phase III clinical trials for its lead cancer product for metastatic melanoma – OncoVEX GM-GSF. BioVex claims to have had "an unprecedented number of durable complete remissions" in Phase II trials for the promising candidate.

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