2020 brought a huge boom in health­care in­vest­ment. How big? SVB an­a­lysts have the record-break­ing an­swer

As the past year de­vel­oped, it be­came clear­er that 2020 was prov­ing to be mas­sive for the bio­phar­ma in­dus­try. But just how big did the sec­tor boom?

The fi­nan­cial gu­rus over at Sil­i­con Val­ley Bank at­tempt­ed to an­swer that ques­tion Thurs­day, as their top health­care ad­vi­sors re­leased their 2020 An­nu­al Re­port. All in all, SVB has the to­tal amount raised pegged at a stag­ger­ing $16.8 bil­lion, far eclips­ing the fundrais­ing record set in 2019 and mark­ing the biggest year-over-year growth in al­most a decade.

Jonathan Nor­ris

It’s al­so the fourth straight record year in health­care VC fundrais­ing, SVB man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Jonathan Nor­ris wrote in the re­port.

So what caused the boom? There were mul­ti­ple fac­tors that con­tributed, but it wasn’t that wells of cash sud­den­ly sprung up every­where. In fact, the num­ber of funds ded­i­cat­ed sole­ly to life sci­ences re­mained ex­act­ly the same last year as it did in 2019.

Rather, the me­di­an deal size in 2020 — $415 mil­lion — was near­ly dou­ble that of the me­di­an $217 mil­lion a year ear­li­er. Add to that a bustling IPO mar­ket, with 2020’s record class of 84 ex­its end­ing up about twice as valu­able as 2019’s, as well as strong M&A ac­tion and the in­dus­try had it­self quite the lu­cra­tive year.

Though Nor­ris did not in­clude SPACs in his fundrais­ing fig­ures, he not­ed that there was a large up­swing in such merg­ers, with VCs and hedge funds putting to­geth­er about $2 bil­lion in deals.

The biggest growth oc­curred dur­ing the third quar­ter of 2020, with a whop­ping 482 deals tak­ing place across all health­care sec­tors. That’s the most deals by far in any quar­ter in the last three years, with on­ly 2020’s fourth quar­ter clock­ing in above 400 deals dur­ing that times­pan.

There were al­so sig­nif­i­cant in­creas­es not just in Se­ries A rounds, but fol­low-on rounds as well by com­pa­nies like­ly to file for an IPO. On­col­o­gy led the way in both ar­eas: the field pulled in $1.3 bil­lion in Se­ries A fund­ing, up from $959 mil­lion in 2019, and $7.6 bil­lion in lat­er rounds and health­care deals, up from $6 bil­lion the pri­or year.

Nor­ris ad­di­tion­al­ly dis­cussed SVB’s glob­al health­care in­dex to track the per­for­mance of post-IPO com­pa­nies com­pared to the broad­er mar­ket­place. Cre­at­ed in 2018, the in­dex record­ed an over­all growth of 71% among these com­pa­nies, vast­ly out­per­form­ing the Nas­daq health­care in­dex (+31%) and S&P 500 (+15%).

These now-pub­lic com­pa­nies al­so out­per­formed the big tech quin­tet of Face­book, Ap­ple, Mi­crosoft, Google and Ama­zon, which com­bined for about 51% growth last year. Among the biggest win­ners this year were, un­sur­pris­ing­ly, firms work­ing on Covid-19 vac­cines: Mod­er­na, CanSi­no and BioN­Tech saw a col­lec­tive 508% in­crease.

Look­ing ahead to 2021, the folks at SVB don’t think the in­dus­try can quite keep up with the record-break­ing pace from 2020. But they still project a sol­id year like­ly to be in line with 2019’s $10.7 bil­lion fundrais­ing to­tal, with strong in­vest­ment pro­ject­ed to con­tin­ue both in Se­ries A and suc­ceed­ing rounds as well as a po­ten­tial 50 to 60 IPOs.

M&A: a crit­i­cal dri­ver for sus­tain­able top-line growth in health­care

2021 saw a record $600B in healthcare M&A activity. In 2022, there is an anticipated slowdown in activity, however, M&A prospects remain strong in the medium to long-term. What are future growth drivers for the healthcare sector? Where might we see innovations that drive M&A? RBC’s Andrew Callaway, Global Head, Healthcare Investment Banking discusses with Vito Sperduto, Global Co-Head, M&A.

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Evusheld nabbed emergency authorization in December, however, despite millions of immunocompromised people looking for a solution and now more widespread availability of the drug.

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Yong Dai, Frontera Therapeutics CEO

Scoop: Lit­tle-known Or­biMed-backed biotech clos­es $160M round to start gene ther­a­py tri­al

Frontera Therapeutics, a China and US biotech, has closed a $160 million Series B and received regulatory clearance to test its first gene therapy stateside, Endpoints News has learned.

Led by the largest shareholder, OrbiMed, the biotech has secured $195 million total since its September 2019 founding, according to an email reviewed by Endpoints. The lead AAV gene therapy program is for an undisclosed rare eye disease, according to the source.

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Spanish Prime Minister Pédro Sanchez and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen (AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert)

EU to launch vac­cine de­vel­op­ment and man­u­fac­tur­ing part­ner­ship with Latin Amer­i­can and Caribbean coun­tries

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DEM BioPharma CEO David Donabedian (L) and executive chair Jan Skvarka

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De­spite a slow start to the year for deals, PwC pre­dicts a flur­ry of ac­tiv­i­ty com­ing up

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VC firms take os­teo­poro­sis drug­mak­er Ra­dius Health pri­vate for al­most $900M

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