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Device Investors Arrive Late: Capital Flows to More Developed Companies

This article was originally published in Start Up

Executive Summary

Venture capital is flowing to later-stage companies as VCs prepare to carry their companies along farther than they have in the past.

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Medical Device and In Vitro Diagnostics/Research Deal Statistics Quarterly, Q2 2008

Highlights from the Q2 2008 review of device and diagnostics dealmaking: financing for medical device firms was down 9% from the first quarter to $838mm, which consisted mainly of late-stage venture rounds at 43% of the total. Big Pharma was surprisingly active in device acquisitions, with Novartis buying 25% of surgical instruments maker Alcon, and BMS selling off ConvaTec to private equity as part of its "string of pearls" strategy to focus on biotech. Two FOPOs dominated the $300mm financing the IVD/Research industry, while Invitrogen's $6.4bn stock swap for Applera's Applied Biosystems represented 90% of the M&A dollar volume.

Medical Device and In Vitro Diagnostics/Research Deal Statistics Quarterly, Q2 2008

Highlights from the Q2 2008 review of device and diagnostics dealmaking: financing for medical device firms was down 9% from the first quarter to $838mm, which consisted mainly of late-stage venture rounds at 43% of the total. Big Pharma was surprisingly active in device acquisitions, with Novartis buying 25% of surgical instruments maker Alcon, and BMS selling off ConvaTec to private equity as part of its "string of pearls" strategy to focus on biotech. Two FOPOs dominated the $300mm financing the IVD/Research industry, while Invitrogen's $6.4bn stock swap for Applera's Applied Biosystems represented 90% of the M&A dollar volume.

The Medical Device Industry's Robust Times: Are They Sustainable?

Notwithstanding an occasional blip, the environment for medical device companies has never been stronger, with robust technology development, company creation rewarded with high levels of private and venture investment, and strong M&A activity all supporting a business model that was born out of the doldrums that device companies found themselves in a decade ago. Still, there are pressures that are straining the current model and raising legitimate concerns, including physician conflict-of-interest charges; regulatory pathways that are trickier and a climate of evidence-based medicine that leads to longer, more expensive trials; and a robust M&A environment that is sustainable only if a next-generation of acquiring companies steps up. Part one of a two-part series.

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