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Pharmaceutical fundings increased to $649 million, representing a 37% increase in amounts funded among a 15% increase in the number of companies funded versus the previous quarter. The average funding round size was $14.4 million, versus $12.1 million in the previous quarter, a percentage increase of 19%.

Orexigen Therapeutics raised the largest funding round of the quarter, receiving $70 million from undisclosed investors. The company is developing a novel combined two drug approach to achieve and sustain weight loss.

Gloucester Pharmaceuticals closed its series D financing round at $29 million from a large group of investors led by Scandinavian firm Novo A/S. Gloucester said that the funding proceeds would be used to support the ongoing development of its lymphoma drug candidate romidepsin, which is a histone deacetylase inhibitor for the treatment of T-cell malignancies.

Medical Devices

Venture capital funding for Medical Device companies reversed its previous quarterly increase, with 71 companies receiving $712 million during the quarter, an 18% dollar volume decrease.

There were a significant number of third round fundings (series C), which included the following companies:

PrimeraDx $20 million
Liquidia Technologies $7 million
BeneChill $13.5 million
NICO Corp. $10 million
Oraya Therapeutics $42 million
Relievant Med Systems $20 million

Two companies raised $50 million each, Calypso Medical technologies and ConforMIS. Calypso is developing technologies to assist physicians with organ motion management solutions that help improve the delivery of radiation therapies.

ConforMIS is providing patient specific, minimally invasive implants for orthopedics and sports medicine related injuries. The company uses 3-D imaging analysis tools to customize each particular implant. ConforMIS is backed by CDIB Bioscience, Merrill Lynch Capital, and other undisclosed investors.

Paradigm Spine secured $21.5 million in a new round of venture equity and debt financing from private equity and venture capital investors. Paradigm is developing non-fusion spinal implant medical devices. The company said that the funding proceeds would be used to strengthen its US sales infrastructure and fund its ongoing US clinical trial of the coflex device.

Table 1

Venture Funding Activity – 3rd Quarter 2009

Industry Total
% Change
Vs. Prior
Number of
% Change
vs. Prior
Biotechnology $529 Million - 18 % 58 - 3 %
Pharmaceuticals $649 Million + 37 % 45 + 15 %
Medical Devices $712 Million - 18 % 71 - 16 %
Total $1.89 Billion - 5 % 174 - 5 %

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