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Venture Capital Investment in Genomic Tool Shops Fell Across the Board in 2003

NEW YORK, Feb. 19 (GenomeWeb News) - Private-equity investments in genomics-related tool and technology companies shrank 25 percent in 2003 compared with 2002, according to a venture capital-tracking newsletter.


Bioinformatics companies took the biggest hit, experiencing an 80-percent drop-off in total venture-capital investment in 2003, while investment in drug-discovery tools, which include microarray and genotyping technologies, fell by 5 percent year over year, the smallest margin.


Private-equity companies closed 13 deals totaling $150 million in genomics and proteomics companies in 2003, which represents a 44-percent decrease from 2002 when VC firms closed 16 deals worth $216.7 million, according to Venture Wire, a unit of Dow Jones Newsletters.


Investment in bioinformatics companies shriveled 80 percent in 2003 to seven deals totaling $31.7 million from eight deals worth $57.1 million one year ago, Venture Wire said.


Meantime, investment in drug discovery-tool shops fell 5 percent in 2003 to 21 deals totaling $236 million from 30 deals worth $249.7 million in 2002.

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