Venture capital investment in U.S. life sciences companies soared 29 percent in 2014 from the year before, reaching $8.6 billion, the highest level since 2007. And there is reason to think 2015 will also be a big year for a sector having its third boom of the last two decades.
Biotech is the second biggest category for venture investment after software. VCs are gaining confidence in life sciences companies (which include those developing new drugs and therapies as well as those that make medical devices and equipment) partly because their underlying research has advanced significantly, says Greg Vlahos, life sciences partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers, which published the new numbers. A big spike in IPOs by biotech companies over the past two years has also made the field more enticing.
Distinguishing 2014 from the booms in 2000 and 2007, says Vlahos, was the record number of “megadeals” of over $100 million. The $446 million investment round in Moderna Therapeutics, which is developing a novel class of drugs based on messenger RNA (see “Messenger RNA Could Create a New Class of Drugs”), was the largest Vlahos’s group has ever seen for a life sciences company.
These weird virtual creatures evolve their bodies to solve problems
They show how intelligence and body plans are closely linked—and could unlock AI for robots.
Surgeons have successfully tested a pig’s kidney in a human patient
The test, in a brain-dead patient, was very short but represents a milestone in the long quest to use animal organs in human transplants.
Is everything in the world a little bit conscious?
The idea that consciousness is widespread is attractive to many for intellectual and, perhaps, also emotional
reasons. But can it be tested? Surprisingly, perhaps it can.
We reviewed three at-home covid tests. The results were mixed.
Over-the-counter coronavirus tests are finally available in the US. Some are more accurate and easier to use than others.
Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review
Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.