Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

Though Overall VC Spending Stumbles and Falls, Private Equity Shines on Biotech

NEW YORK, June 28 - Venture-capital investment in biotech companies in the second quarter grew 44 percent over the same period last year even as overall VC spending was cut in half, according to an audit by a private-equity tracking firm.


Private US-based biotech firms, including genomics tool shops and their customers, will have pocketed a total of $984 million over 62 deals in the period that ends Sunday. The industry earned roughly $680 million over 54 deals during the same period in 2001.


According to the report, released today by VentureWire, total VC investment in US companies for the second quarter 2002 fell to $5.1 billion from $9.8 billion in the year-ago period, a drop of 49 percent. Some 443 companies received funding in the period compared with 850 firms one year ago.


Venture capitalists are still searching for a sustainable level of investment," said John Fuller, managing editor of VentureWire. Several sectors continue to show promise, but a wide-spread recovery has yet to take hold."


One of the areas primed for growth (or at least shielded from the flogging experienced by the broader market) is biotech. According to Fuller, VC financiers are making "opportunistic" investments, "especially in areas like biotech...."


VC firms that have been most active in funding biotech start-ups in the second quarter were Johnson & Johnson Development, which closed seven deals; New Enterprise Associates, also with seven deals; and InterWest Partners, which signed six deals, VentureWire found.

The Scan

Study Points to Tuberculosis Protection by Gaucher Disease Mutation

A mutation linked to Gaucher disease in the Ashkenazi Jewish population appears to boost Mycobacterium tuberculosis resistance in a zebrafish model of the lysosomal storage condition, a new PNAS study finds.

SpliceVault Portal Provides Look at RNA Splicing Changes Linked to Genetic Variants

The portal, described in Nature Genetics, houses variant-related messenger RNA splicing insights drawn from RNA sequencing data in nearly 335,700 samples — a set known as the 300K-RNA resource.

Automated Sequencing Pipeline Appears to Allow Rapid SARS-CoV-2 Lineage Detection in Nevada Study

Researchers in the Journal of Molecular Diagnostics describe and assess a Clear Labs Dx automated workflow, sequencing, and bioinformatic analysis method for quickly identifying SARS-CoV-2 lineages.

UK Team Presents Genetic, Epigenetic Sequencing Method

Using enzymatic DNA preparation steps, researchers in Nature Biotechnology develop a strategy for sequencing DNA, along with 5-methylcytosine and 5-hydroxymethylcytosine, on existing sequencers.