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Venture Capital Deals in the Pharmaceuticals Industry, 2008 – Present – March 2013

by Gemma Morris

  • 07 Mar 2013
  • PE

From Q1 2008 to present there have been 1,080 venture capital deals in the pharmaceuticals industry, with an aggregate value of $17bn.

The period between Q1 2008 and Q2 2009 saw fluctuations in aggregate deal value between $0.85bn and $1.03bn. The total value of deals decreased by a third between Q2 2009 and Q3 2009, when 50 venture capital deals in the pharmaceuticals industry were valued $0.71bn. The number of deals ranged between 58 in Q1 2008 and 47 in Q1 2009, and the number of deals did not reach above 60 until the final quarter of 2009 when 62 deals took place at an aggregate value of $0.98bn, representing a 38% increase from the previous quarter.

From 2009 onward, 2010 saw a fairly consistent level of aggregate value and number of deals until Q4 2010 when the number of deals increased to 65, a 12% increase on the previous quarter.  Interestingly, despite the relatively high number of deals, Q4 2010 saw a particularly low aggregate value of $0.74bn, with an average deal size of just $12.5mn – the lowest average quarterly value from 2008 to present.

Aggregate deal value picked up between Q4 2010 and Q2 2011, increasing 28% from $0.74bn to $0.95bn. A $98mn series D funding round of biopharmaceutical company Circassia Ltd in April 2011 made up 10.3% of the value of all deals for this quarter. From Q2 2011, aggregate value decreased by 56% to $0.42bn in Q2 2012 with only 34 deals, the lowest number per quarter from 2008 to present.

The remaining period of 2012 witnessed an increase in activity, with both the number and aggregate value of deals reaching their peak for the period between 2008 and present in Q4 2012, with 66 deals valued at $1.24bn. This is a 48% and 197% increase in the number of deals and total value respectively since the low figures of Q2 2012. A significant 13% of the high aggregate value for this quarter was due to the $160mn financing of Intarcia Therapeutics, Inc. in November 2012. This was also the largest deal in the period between 2008 and present. So far 2013 is yet to witness deals of such a size, with the largest recorded deal being the $47mn series A funding of Jounce Therapeutics, a developer of cancer immunotherapy treatment, by Third Rock Ventures in February this year.

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