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Third-quarter device financing at $2.38 billion – almost half of that amount from CooperSurgical's $1.1 billion bridge loan – was double the Q2 total, while device acquisitions showed a steep decrease at $3.38 billion versus Q2's $33.4 billion. Diagnostics fundraising also was up in the third quarter, reaching $2.4 billion (a 133% increase over Q2) mostly from Thermo Fisher Scientific's $1.5 billion follow-on offering, which accounted for 63% of the total. In line with the previous quarter's $1.7 billion in M&A, Q3 diagnostics acquisitions had an aggregate value of $1.8 billion, led by Konica Minolta's $1 billion buy of Ambry Genetics.
Derived from Strategic Transactions, Informa’s premium source for tracking life sciences deal activity, the Dealmaking column is a survey of recent health care transactions listed by relevant industry segment – In Vitro Diagnostics, Medical Devices, and Pharmaceuticals – and then categorized by type – Acquisition, Alliance, or Financing. This month’s column covers deals announced in September 2017.
Device start-ups are legion in some geographies-the areas around Boston and San Francisco or Orange County, CA-and not in some others. For instance, there's been very little company creation in the Southwestern parts of the US. A new device incubator, Avant Ventures LLC, will try to redress that problem in the four-state area that includes Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Utah.
Several emerging companies are building platforms around the concept of systems biology, which is premised on the idea that drug and diagnostic discovery require studying the ways in which the various elements of biological systems-including, but not limited to, genes and proteins-integrate and interact within an organism or function. This ambitious undertaking requires an arsenal of high-throughput technology and expertise drawn from a myriad of disciplines including chemistry, bioanalysis, molecular and cell biology, medicine, and informatics. The immediate challenge facing aspiring systems biology companies is to sustain themselves by creating sufficient value from their expansive technologies during the years it will take to come up with a novel diagnostic or therapeutic. Along with traditional discovery deals, as well as deals to resurrect partners' projects which have failed for lack of understanding about their proper use, several players are proposing interim steps to create product businesses, like using their technologies to find undervalued in-licensing candidates.
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