Venture Capital is going “BIO”. More than any time in the last 7 years, venture capital firms are pouring money into the biotechnology sector and it’s not just going toward research labs and testing facilities either. The boom in biotech is also reaching into Silicon Valley leading to an influx of IPO as innovative new therapies are addressing unique diseases and illness that has been thought of as “untreatable” until recent years.
Silicon Valley has always been known for computer & software tech but biotech is quickly gaining ground. In the region, firms have raised over half a billion dollars in the first quarter of 2015 alone. In fact this is the third highest fundraising quarter for the sector in Silicon Valley’s history; a 103% jump from the same time last year based on data from Thomson Reuters. A sector that once didn’t grace the halls of VC’s Top 10 investments is now 3rd on the list.
Better clinical trial results, a better understanding of human biology, a faster FDA review process, and additional companies addressing remedies for expensive “fatal conditions” are all making biotech more appealing to VC funding.“We’re amazed by the response we’re seeing from investors,” said Helmy Eltoukhy, co-founder and CEO of Guardant Health, which was founded in 2012 and has since raised $100 million. “The funding is allowing us to scale up to meet the unexpected (patient) demand. We moved into a larger facility, and we could build a larger lab and scale this operation. It’s been a much healthier funding environment for biotech and health care companies than I can remember.”
This surge deems well for those struggling with illness associated with this boom. Cancer, genetic disease, etc., this money will allow more organization to handle larger trials with better results all while achieving a response from the FDA more quickly. In the past, biotech firms were only capable of raising smaller sums of money, which in turn delivered smaller opportunity but now there may be a different tune in this market.