Life Sciences Snapshot ‐ A Quarterly Report on Financing Trends ‐ Q3 2020

Venture Surges and the Rise of SPACs

9 minute read | October.22.2020

Life Sciences Snapshot Q3 2020

In this edition of Orrick’s series of life sciences publications, the traditional update on broader venture market financing data is included, depicting the macro-level trends of interest. In addition, given their surge in popularity, SPACs and their particular utility to life sciences businesses are the subject of this edition’s spotlight.

Key highlights:

  • Q3 2020 saw $8.3 billion in VC invested, matching Q2’s massive tally—a clear sign the COVID-19 pandemic has served as an accelerant to the life sciences sector.
  • 2020 is likely to exceed the prior record of $25.6 billion in VC invested within life sciences.
  • Late stage deals are getting an increasing portion of the investment pie, as measured both by deals and dollars.
  • Median pre-money valuations are at or near all-time highs—with late stage’s valuations increased to $75.0 million, supported by robust demand and substantial sums of dry powder across the industry on the whole.
  • Several SPACs are focused on life sciences targets, with this approach increasingly seen as an appealing method of going public.