Some VC Funds Have Miles To Go While Others Have Burned What's In The Tank
This article was originally published in Start Up
The slowdown and shake-out predicted to occur in the world of venture capital has come. But has it also already gone, too? The industry has certainly retrenched, but there are also signs of new life in the venture sector. For the past two years, we've tracked a few dozen life sciences firms, with an eye on which ones have nearly tapped out their older funds and which have fresh cash to invest in young start-ups. Here's an updated look at the venture fund landscape, showing the firms with full tanks and the ones who are running on empty, based on SEC filings, firm announcements, and our own database and reporting.
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Approvals jumped, venture retrenched and dealmakers expanded on 2010’s creativity. Pharma’s thirst for payer-friendly innovation and emerging markets infrastructure pushed M&A valuations skyward, and threw VCs and drugmakers closer together. The year 2011 was also when we said goodbye to Lipitor, hello to the euro crisis, and “see you soon” to biosimilars.
If 2010 was the year when pharma introduced new models, 2011 was the year it discovered that executing on its plans required a new mindset. There was a realization that pharma input and capital were required at the earliest stages of company creation. Innovation remained the order of the day, though pharma’s attempts to innovate looked strikingly similar to one another. We continued to see risk-sharing deal structures, emphasis on emerging markets, ongoing externalization and the biotech-ification of pharma, and stronger emphasis on “unmet medical need. Pharma also did more to work with VCs, payors, generics companies, and each other. The year saw a recovery in US drug approvals and launches, but the high prices associated with some of those new therapies and austerity in Europe also shed light on the health technology assessment-dominated future that likely faces most markets, including the US.