Despite a global pandemic that is wreaking havoc on the overall economy, biopharma financings and grants during the month of April have shown solid numbers.
While March was the weakest financings month of the year, April bounced back, bringing the biopharma industry $5.43 billion, mostly through global public offerings. About $2.7 billion came via follow-on offerings and another $752 million through four IPOs during the month. Private placements and other private financings of public companies raised $548 million, while private venture capital rounds brought in $1.4 billion.
So far this year, the industry has raised $21.5 billion. This compares to $19.4 billion by this point in 2019 and $27.3 billion during the same timeframe in 2018.
The largest of each type of financing in April, not including notes offerings, were: the $314 million Hong Kong IPO of Zhongshan, China-based Akeso Inc.; a $420 million follow-on of Morris Plains, N.J.-based Immunomedics Inc., which had just received FDA approval of its triple-negative breast cancer drug Trodelvy (sacituzumab govitecan-hziy); a $65 million at-the-market facility for Cambridge, Mass.-based Mersana Therapeutics Inc.; and a $200 million series B round by San Diego-based Erasca Inc.
During the month, 18 out of 28 grants tracked by BioWorld and awarded to biopharma companies were directly related to their COVID-19 efforts. They included a $483 million award to Cambridge, Mass.-based Moderna Therapeutics Inc. by the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) for the development of its mRNA-1273 vaccine against the novel coronavirus.
Of the 166 grants for the year, 50 of them offer $870.9 million, about 57% of the total grant money, for those in the industry working on COVID-19 vaccines and therapeutics. Broken down by month, there were three in January worth $17.3 million, five in February worth $6.62 million, 24 in March worth $245.79 million and 18 in April worth $601.19 million.
Biopharma companies were awarded $1.54 billion in grants so far in 2020, including more than half, $820.43 million, during the month of April.
For a complete listing of financings and grants, see the following within BioWorld Snapshots: