Top 20 venture capital deals of 2008

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FierceBiotech top venture capital deals of 20082008 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 - $37.5M

Data courtesy of the National Venture Capital Association.