Venture capital investments in medical devices, pharmaceuticals and other healthcare sectors totaled about $1.9 billion in the first quarter. That was slightly lower than the $2 billion in investments in the year-ago quarter but up 19% from the fourth quarter 2004, said Irving Levin Associates, New Canaan, Conn.
Private-equity investments were stronger than the market for healthcare initial public offerings, said Levin, which tracks venture capital and mergers-and-acquisitions activity in healthcare
Biopharmaceuticals led the way in private-equity investments in the first quarter, with 26 companies raising a total of $609.5 million from investors; 23 pharmaceutical companies raised $479.7 million and 25 devicemakers raised $344.2 million. In a catch-all category including consulting, laboratories and outpatient services, 21 companies raised a total of $237 million from investors.