8:01 am by Stephanie Baum
About $13.88 billion in venture capital backed 974 deals in the second quarter, the highest level since the first quarter of 2001, according to a new report by CB Insights. Healthcare accounted for a significant part of that. About $2.7 billion was invested across 161 deals in the sector. CB Insights’ Venture Capital Activity report called attention to some interesting VC trends in healthcare from IPO activity to a growing shift away from early-stage deals.
Healthcare IPOs accounted for half of venture-backed IPO activity for the fifth consecutive quarter. Most of the IPOs were biotechnology companies, but not all. Among the largest IPOs filed in the second quarter, according to IPO Scoop, were Adeptus Health, the parent company of the largest emergency-room network in the country. ZS Pharma was expected to raise about $107 million for its biotech business. Its lead product in development treats hyperkalemia, a life-threatening condition in which potassium reaches dangerous levels in the body, increasing the risk of cardiac arrhythmia. Kite Pharma, specializing in cancer T cell immunotherapy, raised more than $106 million on its public debut.
The largest healthcare deals were for growth-stage companies. Intarcia Therapeutics raised $200 million of growth equity. Its Phase 3 drug is designed to treat people with longstanding Type 2 diabetes with severe hyperglycemia. Population health company Alignment Healthcare raised $125 million. Spark Therapeutics, a gene therapy company developing treatments for inherited retinal dystrophy and Hemophilia B, raised $73 million in a Series B round.