The last time GEN published a list of top-10 private financings of early-stage biopharmas and developers of diagnostic or therapeutic technologies back in 2016, the top company turned heads by raising a then-staggering $474 million, while the No. 10 company garnered $110 million.
Two years later, the same number-one company is still on top among young companies in the money, while this year’s startup that raised $110 million in VC—Precision BioSciences, developer of the ARCUS® genome-editing platform—only ranked as high as No. 16 among top financings in the first half of 2018.
During that period, the No. 10 company raised $200 million, reflecting a VC market that remains hot, with total biopharma investment more than double that of a year ago, even if the Q2 amount was about 3% below the record-high $4.155 billion tallied during the first quarter of this year by PwC/CB Insights. Q1 was third consecutive quarter of record biotech VC investment, as Bruce Booth, D.Phil., partner in Atlas Venture, noted April 30 on his blog LifeSciVC. Both quarters have seen biopharma investment driven by megadeals of $100 million or more.
“Life sciences in general account for over 14% of U.S. VC volume, the highest proportion in years,” another VC market tracker, KPMG, observed in its most recent quarterly report, Venture Pulse Q2 2018. “As life sciences span healthcare devices and supplies, plus pharma and biotech, it is a testament to how much more interested VCs are becoming in healthcare innovation as the industry grows to an even larger share of the nation’s economy.”
Below is GEN’s top 10 private financings list for the first six months of this 2018. Companies are listed with the amounts they raised, the type of financing, the date(s) announced, the stated purposes of their financings, leading investors, and participating partner investors.
The combined amount of the top 10 “Young Company” biotech financings within this year was $3.009 billion—up 50% from $2.030 billion in 2016, with the No. 1 company racking up 32% more in capital than it did in 2016.
As with the 2016 list and GEN lists published last year, in 2014, and in 2013, this year’s tally does not include companies that secured private funding and later went public, or filed registration statements to do so. Also not included are public companies that raised large sums of private funding.
A Product Manager with expertise in pharma marketing and sales operations