Market analysts commenting on the dramatic rise in the Nasdaq Biotech Index (up 27%) and the Dow Jones US Pharma Index (up 21%) in the first half of 2013, as well as a significant increase in initial public offerings during that period compared to all of 2012, caution that the economic picture is mixed, with licensing deals off the 2012 rate which was the slowest in five years. Still, mergers and acquisitions (M&A) are on a solid pace at $29 billion between January and June, and later-stage deals have apparently been active, with 32 providing $434 million in up-front payments and $3.2 billion in total deal values. According to the EP Vantage “Pharma Half-Year Review 2013” report, venture capital gravitated toward biotechs with demonstrable science, which could indicate that early-stage biotechs continue to find it difficult to raise this type of financing.