Private companies looking to attract the interest of venture capital firms had some success last year, taking in more than $2.7 billion.
That’s according to “The MoneyTree Report by PwC and the National Venture Capital Association based on data from Thomson Reuters,” unveiled Friday, which provided venture capital funding numbers for the fourth quarter and the year.
During the fourth quarter, the life sciences sector — which includes biopharma and medical device companies — saw $2 billion go into 172 deals, representing a decline of 31 percent in dollars and 16 percent in deals versus the third quarter, according to the MoneyTree Report.
Compared with 2014, total investments were up 12 percent; however, the number of deals was down 3 percent.
Looking at device companies specifically, Greg Vlahos, life sciences partner at PwC, tells IDDM that those companies that focus on cardiovascular products continue to enjoy funder interest. He adds that 2015 funding for the industry was in line with previous years, although it is on the high-end of the typical $2 billion to $3 billion range the industry tends to rake in.
Medical device funding fell from about $836.1 million in Q3 to $589.3 million in Q4. The total number of deals remained steady, falling one to 77 in Q4. Interestingly, the top 8 deals of Q4 were larger in terms of cash brought in than the leading deal of Q3, which brought in $26.5 million.
EndoGastric Solutions led the pack in Q4, reeling in just under $50 million. The round was led by CRG, which was joined by existing investors Advanced Technology Ventures, Foundation Medical Partners, Canaan Partners, Chicago Growth Partners and Radius Ventures. Redmond, Wash.-based EndoGastric is focused on incisionless procedures for gastroesophageal reflux disease.
Coming in second for the quarter was Nxthera, which took in $40 million in a round led by Boston Scientific. Joining the funding round were Aberdare Ventures, GDN Holdings, Ally Bridge Capital Partners and Arboretum Ventures. At the same time, Nxthera, which focuses on men’s health, announced the expansion of the company’s debt facility with East West Bank. Nxthera intends to use the proceeds to expand sales of the FDA-cleared Rezum system to treat benign prostate hyperplasia.
Coming in third for the quarter was Irvine, Calif.-based Axonics Modulation Technologies, which raised $38.5 million in Series B funding. New investors Advent Venture Partners and Cormorant Asset Management joined Neomed Management, Edmond de Rothschild Investment Partners, Legend Capital, The Alfred E. Mann Foundation and other private partners in the round. The company says it will use the proceeds in a study involving overactive bladder patients that will start early this year in the U.S. and EU.
Rounding out the top 5 are Fractyl Laboratories with $37.2 million and BAROnova with $36.5 million. — Elizabeth Hollis