2008 was not the year investors were eager to take risks. As the recession deepened, lack of funding caused an increasing number of small biotechs laid off workers and closed their doors. By the fourth quarter, VC investments had plunged 33 percent and biotech investing dropped 31 percent.
But there were bright spots last year. Good science will attract funding in any market, and the companies below demonstrated technologies that attracted VC investment in even in the toughest economic conditions. Take a look at the top 20 U.S. companies that raised big money in 2008.
1. Pacific Biosciences of California - $120M
2. OncoMed Pharmaceuticals - 106.96M
3. Pacira Pharmaceuticals - $85M
4. Proteolix - $79M
5. Amyris Biotechnologies - $65.11M
6. Biolex Therapeutics - $65M
7. Portola Pharmaceuticals - $60M
8. BrainCells - $50.6M
9. ChemoCentryx - $50M
10. Ironwood Pharmaceuticals - $50M
11. Gloucester Pharmaceuticals - $47.13M
12. Radius Health - $43.3M
13. Precision Therapeutics - $43.01M
14. Light Sciences Oncology - $41M
15. Catalyst Biosciences - $40.4M
16. Five Prime Therapeutics - $40.28M
17. Alder Biopharmaceuticals - $40.2M
18. Hydra Biosciences - $39.22M
19. Enlight Bioscience - $39M
20. BiPar Sciences - $37.5MData courtesy of the National Venture Capital Association.