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We’re halfway through 2022 and digital health venture funding has hit $17.6 billion across 1,255 deals, according to a CBInsights report released Tuesday. That’s a 40% decrease from the same time last year, where digital health funding hit $29.4 billion at the halfway mark across 1,542 deals. The average venture deal size was around $17 million compared to $25 million in the same period in 2021. There was also a significant slow down in exit activity, with the majority of exits in the form of M&A with the IPO and SPAC markets tapering off significantly.
Rock Health, which released its halftime funding report earlier this week, suggested that “froth has turned to fade” among the wider market cooldown spurred by the war in Ukraine and inflation fears. The silver lining? After record fundraising last year, venture investors are flush with cash and while the non-specialists may be scared away, veteran digital health investors “appear ready to stay the course” and will dominate in the near-term, though we can expect to see smaller check sizes. The current environment is a wakeup call for founders who raised megarounds at lofty valuations and are having to reassess the growth at all costs trajectory, meaning we can expect to see more layoffs in the near-term.
It Costs Nearly $20,000 To Have A Baby In The U.S., Study Finds
The average cesarean section pregnancy cost more than $26,000, 77% more than the average pregnancy resulting in vaginal delivery, costing under $15,000, according to the analysis by the Kaiser Family Foundation. It’s an expense that leaves many families struggling and disproportionately burdens poorer women and communities of color most affected by the repeal of Roe v. Wade and inability to access to safe and legal abortion. Read more here.
Deals Of The Week
Billion Dollar Funds: Lightspeed Venture Partners has raised more than $7 billion across four funds to invest in enterprise, consumer, health and fintech startups. Previous healthcare exits include liquid biopsy company Guardant Health and genetic testing company Natera. Oak HC/FT closed a $1.9 billion fifth fund to invest in trends like automation and value-based care. Recent exits include healthcare billing startup Ooda Health and behavioral health administration software company Therapy Brands.
Cancer Biotech: Clinical stage biotech Insprina has raised a $50 million series D round co-led by Sands Capital and Vivo Capital to support clinical development of its lead drug candidate to treat lung and endometrial cancer.
Variant-Proof: Flagship Pioneering announced the launch of its latest company, Apriori, with an initial capital commitment of $50 million. The company is aimed at developing antibody therapies for infectious diseases that can address variants of the viruses that cause them.
Mental Health: Brightline, the Palo Alto, California-based startup offering virtual behavioral health services for kids and teens, raised a $10 million Series C extension from New York-based hospital system Northwell Health. This brings total Series C funding to $115 million as the company looks to expand its reach with employers and expand services for teens.
Nomi Health, a startup that delivers health services without going through third-party health insurance, has acquired two related companies – Everyone Health and Sano Surgery – in a deal worth $26.5 million.
The Biden Administration said hospitals are required under federal law to provide abortions in lifesaving and other emergency situations regardless of state-level bans. Here’s where state lawsuits on abortion bans stand.
French pharma company HRA Pharma has asked the FDA to approve its over-the-counter birth control medication.
Doctors transplanted genetically modified pig hearts into two brain dead patients at NYU Langone Health.
The FDA granted an emergency use authorization to Novavax for its protein-based Covid-19 vaccine on Wednesday, making it the fourth vaccine to get an EUA. Developed in part with the assistance of Operation Warp Speed, the federal government has a contract to purchase up to 100 million doses. Earlier this week, the Biden administration announced it has already secured 3.2 million doses of the vaccine.
Novavax’s vaccine works differently than the mRNA vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna. Its vaccine uses a nanoparticle that mimics the coronavirus’ spike protein. These particles are injected into the patient along with a chemical that helps stimulate the immune system. The nanoparticles cause the patient’s immune system to develop antibodies against the virus that causes Covid. Clinical trials showed the vaccine to be 90.4% effective in preventing mild, moderate or severe Covid-19 infections, and no cases of moderate or severe COVID-19 were reported in the 17,200 participants who received the vaccine.
“This authorization reflects the strength of our Covid-19 vaccine’s efficacy and safety data, and it underscores the critical need to offer another vaccine option for the U.S. population while the pandemic continues,” Novavax CEO Stanley Erck said in a statement.
With thanks to Forbes fellow Ariyana Griffin for her contributions to this newsletter!
Flu Infection Could Help Fight Off Covid, Study Suggests
A flu infection could help protect against Covid, according to research published Tuesday in the Journal of Virology, a reassuring finding as experts warn more people are likely to catch both as restrictions lift and flu bounces back after largely disappearing during pandemic lockdowns. Read more here.
Other Coronavirus News
Republicans are less likely to believe that Covid-19 protocols helped to slow the spread of the virus, according to a new poll showing that trust in public health officials has dropped among all Americans.
Study shows that physical activity has declined 20% among children worldwide during the pandemic.
Covid-19 variant BA.5 is spreading quickly and is dominant in most of the world. But another variant, BA.2.75, is also rising in case numbers, and there’s a number of things about it that have researchers concerned.
EXCLUSIVE: Bill Gates Reveals How He And Ex-Wife Melinda Came Together For Blockbuster $20 Billion Gift That Makes Them World’s Biggest Givers
Elon Musk’s Relationship With Employee May Have Violated Tesla’s Ethics Code, Experts Say
Crypto Winter Watch: All The Big Layoffs, Record Withdrawals And Bankruptcies Sparked By The $2 Trillion Crash
What Else We are Reading
Hospital-Acquired Pneumonia Is Killing Patients. Yet There Is a Simple Way to Stop It. (Kaiser Health News)
ICE Says Immigrant Women in Custody Still Entitled to Abortion Services (The Wall Street Journal)
Draft bill would ban CDC, NIH from funding lab research in China (Science)