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Devices, Industrial Biotech Lead 2012 Life Science Funding

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Funding for privately-held life sciences companies worldwide in the first six weeks of 2012 shows medical device developers and industrial biotechnology companies attracting the most equity capital, but drug developers engaging in the largest number of financing deals. The report by life sciences venture capital firm Burrill and Company was released on Friday.

Burrill reports that life sciences companies overall drew some $1.3 billion in 110 deals so far in 2012, averaging about $11.9 million per deal. Makers of medical devices, such as surgical tools and knee or hip replacements, took in $416 million, while industrial biotech companies — developers of renewable fuels and chemicals — collected $278 million. Enterprises making pharmaceuticals had the largest number of financing deals (35), but overall they drew $230 million so far in 2012, or $6.6 million per transaction, ranked as a sector second from last.

Life science technologies and services companies overall have attracted less financing than product developers so far in 2012, according to Burrill. Tools and technology enterprises — those providing DNA sequencing and related services — drew $199 million, followed by diagnostics developers with $141 million, and digital health and IT companies collecting $44 million. Tools/technology and diagnostics companies had 14 and 13 deals respectively, however, bringing in $14.2 million per deal for tools and technologies and $10.8 million for diagnostics enterprises in each transaction.

Medical device companies have attracted the most capital so far in 2012 …

Bar chart, life science funding 2012

Life science funding by sector, Jan-Feb 2012


Drug developers had the most financing deals so far in 2012, but collected far less per deal than other companies …

Bar chart, life sciences deals and amounts per deal, Jan-Feb 2012

Number of life science deals and funding per deal, Jan-Feb 2012


Read more: U.S. VC Investments Up for 2011, Flat for Science Companies

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