Despite a gloomy quarterly report from PricewaterhouseCoopers and the National Venture Capital Association that noted a dearth in first-time financings for drug and device newcos in the U.S., at least one investor sees reason for optimism.

"The optimistic spin is that fewer financings mean those that do get done are the best companies," said Deerfield's Jonathan Leff, who serves on NVCA's executive committee. "But the success rate in biotech is such that