The chilly venture capital market should finally warm up this year, a majority of GEN readers predict. A near-majority (46.2%) of respondents said they were “somewhat” optimistic the climate for biopharma VC funding will improve in 2012, with another 15.4% saying they were “very” optimistic. On the other hand, more than one-third (35.4%) said they were “not very” optimistic about a market turnaround this year. The remaining 3.1% were undecided.

Despite recent signs of life in the IPO market, the migration of venture capital from biopharma companies stepped up during the first three months of 2012, as the dollar value of VC deals fell 18% during the first quarter, while the number of deals was relatively flat. Just $780 million was invested in a total 99 biopharma companies during Q1 ’12 compared with $949 million in 97 deals during the first quarter of 2011. There were 10 Series A deals totaling $93.2 million in Q1 ’12 compared to $134.3 million in 30 deals during last year’s first quarter, indicating a sharp year-over-year drop in first-sequence investment activity, as biopharma investors sought safer bets on established companies.

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