by Maureen Martino, Liz Jones-Hollis and Erica Teichert
With summer drawing to a close, it's time for us to reflect on the first half of 2011 with the five biggest VC deals. Biotech investing got off to a mediocre start during the first quarter but picked up steam in the second quarter. Dollars invested in biotech jumped 46% from the prior quarter, while the number of deals also rose 20% to 116 from 97 in the first quarter of 2011.
Taking the top spot in 2011 is Denmark's Symphogen, which earned the distinction of landing the the largest-ever round of venture funding for a European biotech. The developer garnered €100 million (about $131 million) to support early development of antibody therapeutics to treat cancer, infectious and autoimmune diseases. Another non-U.S. developer, Oxford, U.K.-based Circassia, also flirted with the $100 million mark, earning £60M million ($98 million) for a host of mid- and late-stage allergy drug clinical trials. (Symphogen's and Circassia's deal totals are based on the exchange rates of when they were announced.) Launch the report