We begin our evaluation of third-quarter activity with the Mark Twain quotation, “The report of my death has been exaggerated,” as it may appropriately characterize the trends noted in our second-quarter sector assessment. No Chicken Little, we now say in retrospect, the sky is not falling. In fact, following the private financing swoon and simultaneous surge in M&A activity that characterized the second quarter, third-quarter activity was generally back on track within historical norms.
For the quarter, the number of life-science related venture financings jumped nearly 60% over the second quarter. In aggregate, approximately $1.2 billion was raised. At the same time, the average deal size, which had jumped nearly 50% in the second quarter, also returned to its norm.
The quarter also witnessed the return of supersized specialty pharma deals, most notably the $60-million Prestwick Pharmaceuticals Series C financing and the $91-million Esprit Pharmaceuticals Series B financing. The number of completed deals was fairly evenly divided between biopharmaceutical and medical device financings.