Since the beginning of 2010, 419 U.S.-based, VC-backed healthcare companies have been sold or gone public, according to the PitchBook Platform. During that timeframe, the number of exits completed each year has hovered around roughly 100, with a low of 98 completed exits in 2010 and a high of 116 in 2012.
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Acquisitions (sales to other companies) accounted for the clear majority of the exits for each year from 2010 through 2012 (77%, 76% and 68%, respectively). However, this year has been a different story—thanks to healthy stock markets. In 2013 so far, acquisitions have comprised only half (50%) of the healthcare exit activity, while IPOs have taken a 44% share, up 30 percentage points from their share last year.