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Venture Capital Funding Quarterly

Biotechnology • Pharmaceuticals • Medical Devices

4th Quarter, 2008 – United States

Published by: VentureDeal


Life Science companies secured $2.05 billion in venture capital financing during the fourth quarter of 2008, representing a 5% decrease versus the third quarter. This continues the downward trend of funding for the three sectors of Biotechnology, Medical Devices and Pharmaceuticals. The funding was allocated between 212 companies, an 8% increase versus the previous quarter in the aggregate.

The Biotechnology sector received the most amount of funding by a slight margin, raising $767 million among 82 companies. The Pharma sector came in second with $727 million, representing a 28% increase versus the previous quarter, and reversing its downward trend. Medical Device startups received $555 million between 81 companies, a whopping 46% decrease in amounts funded.

Funding Activity


Biotechnology funding bucked its previous downward trend by posting significantly increased funding amounts and numbers of companies funded. The largest venture financing during the quarter was Biolex' $60 million fourth round. The company said it would use the proceeds to complete phase III trials for its lead product Locteron, focused on the treatment of chronic hepatitis C.

Other notable activity in the space included the following financing events:

ChemoCentryx $50 MillionUndisclosed Round
Argos Therapeutics $35 MillionSeries C
Catalyst Biosciences $40 MillionSeries C

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