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A Banner Year?

Contradicting a report issued last week that found venture capital funding to the life sciences is sharply down for the second quarter, the blog Seqonomics says that investments into genomics may reach its highest level, by dollar amounts, ever in 2012.

Using data from the free database CrunchBase, Art Wuster, a postdoc at the Sanger Institute, calculates that, in 2012, more than $400 million in investments will be made into genomics firms. He says that while the number of investments into genomics firms for 2012 — 17 — are on track to be the lowest since 2008, the average size of the investments, an estimated $26.6 million, is the highest ever.

"For genomics startups this means that it may be harder to get funding, but that once you get it, it will be generous," Wuster says.

If Wuster is correct, his estimates would be in sharp contrast to what some VC funds tell Daily Scan's sister publication GenomeWeb Daily News — that the VC environment for the 'omics and molecular diagnostics space remains bleak, mirroring the broader life sciences space.

Joshua Phillips tells GWDN that in addition to fewer deals, VC firms may be limiting the size of their investments and putting them only into those companies that are "ultra capital efficient" to maximize their returns.

The Scan

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