BioTech Industry

Biotech Industry

The biotech industry in Washington state isn't doing too hot this year when it comes to venture capital funding, according to a report released last week by MoneyTree.

In the first quarter of 2015, just $500, 000 was invested in the state's biotech industry — and all of that went to one company, Seattle biotech KinDex Pharmaceuticals, which develops treatments for chronic diseases.

That means that locally, biotech is trailing far behind other industries in venture funding so far this year. Of industries that have raised money in 2015, the next lowest amount is $2.5 million raised by the electronics industry, followed by $3 million in financial services.

The MoneyTree report is compiled by PricewaterhouseCoopers and the National Venture Capital Association.

The $500, 000 investment is the only VC biotech funding in the whole Pacific Northwest so far this year. A drop in VC funding within the industry in recent years is something experts in Washington state are very familiar with as a problem holding biotech in the Puget Sound back from becoming a more national hub.

Washington state's biotech industry looks very different from the national venture capital landscape for life sciences.

Nationwide, according to the report, biotech VC funding has reached about $1.7 billion so far this year. It is one of just four industries to break the billion-dollar mark. Thirteen other industries fell below that.

That probably means the biotech hubs the Seattle area is competing with the most — such as Boston, San Diego and the San Francisco Bay Area — continue to outpace us.

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