For all sectors, venture capitalists invested $5.9 billion in 736 deals in Q1 2011, a 14 percent increase in dollars and an 6 percent decrease in deals, compared to $5.2 billion going into 787 deals in Q1 2010. The Life Sciences share of total venture capital dollars invested slipped slightly to 24 percent in the first quarter of 2011 from 25 percent in the first quarter of 2010.
In Q1 2011, Biotechnology investing grew by 5 percent in dollars but dropped 21 percent in deals year over year with $784 million going into 85 deals. Medical device investments increased 9 percent in dollars and 11 percent in deals in Q1 2011, compared to the same quarter a year ago. With $602 million going into 79 deals, the Medical Device industry ranked behind Software, Industrial/Energy, and Biotechnology in dollars invested.
During the first quarter of 2011, 35 Life Sciences companies received venture capital funding for the first time, capturing $129 million. This represents a sharp decline of 40 percent in the number of companies and a 46 percent drop in dollars invested compared to the first quarter of 2010. First-time deals in the Life Sciences sector averaged $3.7 million in the first quarter of 2011, compared with an average deal size of $6.1 million in the first quarter of 2010.
"First-time funding is expected to remain challenging for the sector, with fewer deals and smaller deal size for fledgling companies," Lefteroff observed. "Lengthy and costly R&D and uncertainty in the regulatory approval process continue to drive more investors toward follow-on and later-stage deals with companies that are closer to successful product launches or the exit market," he continu
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