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BIO Releases Investment and Deal Making Study Showing Record-Breaking Year for US Venture Capital Funding of Biotech

May 19, 2016

Washington, D.C. (May 19, 2016) – Today, the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) released a new report - Emerging Therapeutic Company Investment and Deal Trends – highlighting ten years (2006-2015) of biotechnology funding and deal making across five areas: venture capital, IPOs, follow-on public offerings, licensing, and acquisitions. The report also offers clinical pipeline snapshots to provide context on the degree of industry partnering and the contribution of emerging companies.


“Investment and licensing are the lifeblood of today’s emerging biotechnology companies searching for cures and treatments for patients suffering from devastating and life-threatening diseases,” said Cartier Esham, PhD, BIO’s Executive Vice President, Emerging Companies. “This data will deepen our understanding of investor behavior and deal making trends, a critical consideration for those seeking to encourage medical innovation and unleash the full potential for biotechnology for patients in need of new treatment options.”


Some of the key findings include:

  • Venture Capital: 2015 was the best year on record for US venture capital, with just under $7 billion raised. Funding of immuno-oncology and neurodegenerative disease companies helped drive this all-time high. Investment in treatments for neurological diseases continued to rise. However, a few disease areas affecting large populations (endocrine, respiratory and gastrointestinal) continue to see declines in recent years.
  • Series A Financing: Series A financing nearly doubled from 2014 to 2015. The number of first-time Series A investments reached 80 for the first time in nine years.
  • IPOs: The IPO market has continued to be strong since the passage of the JOBS Act in 2012. In 2015, 39 US emerging therapeutic companies listed on public exchanges.
  • Follow-On Public Offerings: FOPOs by US emerging companies set a record high in 2015, with $16.1 billion raised.
  • Licensing: 2015 saw an all-time high of $7.1 billion for upfront payments in R&D-stage licensing deals.
  • Acquisitions: Acquisitions of R&D-stage companies in 2015 raised $26.3 billion in upfront payments, a record high.

Report author David Thomas, CFA and BIO’s Senior Director for Industry Research and Policy Analysis will discuss the results from the report on Monday, June 6th at the BIO International Convention in San Francisco. More details on the session may be found here.


“Overall, this report shows that the state-of-the-industry has been strong in recent years and we expect to hear about recent success stories at next month’s BIO International Convention in San Francisco,” said Dr. Esham. “With 2016 bringing its own set of challenges, we are confident that partnerships formed at the Convention this year will play a critical role in ensuring that emerging companies have the capital and strategic relationships necessary to develop the next generation of groundbreaking medical innovation.”


The 2016 BIO International Convention will showcase the many ways in which biotechnology continues to offer answers and hope for the world’s most pressing problems. The event features keynotes and session programming from leading policymakers, thought leaders, analysts, scientists and CEOs.


The free report - Emerging Therapeutic Company Investment and Deal Trends – can be accessed here. The Thomson Reuters Cortellis Venture Intelligence and ReCap products, Informa’s Strategic Transactions and Biomedtracker Databases, BioCentury’s BCIQ, and EvaluatePharma were indispensable resources for this endeavor.


About BIO

BIO is the world's largest trade association representing biotechnology companies, academic institutions, state biotechnology centers and related organizations across the United States and in more than 30 other nations. BIO members are involved in the research and development of innovative healthcare, agricultural, industrial and environmental biotechnology products. BIO also produces the BIO International Convention, the world’s largest gathering of the biotechnology industry, along with industry-leading investor and partnering meetings held around the world. BIOtechNOW is BIO's blog chronicling “innovations transforming our world” and the BIO Newsletter is the organization’s bi-weekly email newsletter. Subscribe to the BIO Newsletter.

Upcoming BIO Events 

BIO International Convention
June 6-9, 2016
San Francisco, CA

BIO Latin America Conference
October 26-28, 2016
São Paulo, Brazil

BIO Investor Forum
October 18-19, 2016
San Francisco, CA

Animal Biotech Summit
September 21-23, 2016
Bethesda, MD



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