Venture capital funding of life science startups, including biotech and medical device enterprises, rose by 21% last year, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers.
VCs dropped $7.5 billion on 785 life sciences deals during the year, according to a PwC report, "Zigzagging Upward," compiled using data from the PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP/National Venture Capital Assn. MoneyTree Report and Thomson Reuters.
Life science investment rose by 34% during the 4th quarter, compared with Q4 2010, but the number of deals fell off by 5%. VCs spent $1.7 billion on 184 deals during Q4 2011.
"Life sciences investments in the fourth quarter outperformed total venture investment, when compared with the same quarter of 2010," Tracy Lefteroff, global managing partner of the venture capital practice at PricewaterhouseCoopers, said in prepared remarks. "We did see the IPO window crack slightly during the fourth quarter of 2011 and life sciences companies claimed three of the 11 venture-backed IPOs. However, at this point in time, M&A deals continue to offer more exit opportunities for life sciences companies than IPOs."
Medical device investment jumped 20% from 2010 to 2011, although the number of deals stayed flat at $2.8 billion for 339 deals.
The survey, conducted by Mark Cannice of the University of San Francisco, revealed that the confidence of Left Coast VCs "in the future high-growth venture environment" in the Bay Area is at its lowest ebb since the financial crisis began in 2008.
"The life science sector, in particular, was weighed down again by a difficult
regulatory regime. The uneven exit environment and the lackluster performance of some firms that did
exit recently also added to a generally cautious outlook," according to the report. Read more
Greenway Medical prices IPO
Greenway Medical Technologies announced the pricing of its initial public offering of about 6.7 million shares, at $10.00 per share. The shares are expected to begin trading on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol “GWAY” today. Read more
Does Abbott need a new CEO?
As Abbott (NYSE:ABT) prepares to spin out its research pharmaceuticals business, some Wall Street wags are wondering if it’s time to part ways with chairman & CEO Miles White.
"Since taking over the Chicago-area company in 1988, White has put up a big goose egg on the investor scoreboard. As Forbes recently pointed out, Abbott’s stock is at about $50, the same price it was when White took over. What’s more, dividends haven’t even kept pace with inflation," according to InvestorPlace columnist BNarry Cohen. Read more
- Becton Dickinson (NYSE:BDX): CLSA downgrades from "buy" to "outperform;" Morgan Stanley downgrades from "equal weight" to "underweight," sets $68 price target; Canaccord Genuity reiterates "hold" rating; Citigroup reiterates "neutral" rating, sets $79 price target.
- Edwards Lifesciences (NYSE:EW): Credit Suisse downgrades from "outperform" to "neutral," raises price target from $81 to $90.
- Intuitive Surgical (NSDQ:ISRG): Lazard Capital maintains "buy" rating, sets $525 price target.