Entering 2021 with a strong reputation following a year of intense pandemic-related research, the biopharma industry is drawing enormous investor interest as financings continue to shoot skyward.
While 2020 hit all kinds of records, raising $134.4 billion, this year is likely to surpass it, if the first two months are any indication.
Venture capital financings, for instance, recorded the top amounts for both value and volume for January and for February, compared with each of the previous 21 years. In addition, February can boast the highest IPO to date for a biotech company as Seattle-based Sana Biotechnology Inc. raised $676.6 million, including the overallotment option. The amount bumped the prior record-holder, Moderna Inc., which completed its $604 million IPO in 2018, into second place.
Biopharma financings completed in January through early March 2021 have reached $26 billion through 371 transactions and include:
- 21 IPOs valued at $3.45 billion;
- 97 follow-on offerings valued at $9.77 billion;
- 121 public/other raises (private financings of public companies) worth $5.45 billion; and
- 132 private venture capital rounds worth $7.36 billion.
IPOs brought in $516.4 million and $2.65 billion in each of the first two months of 2021, making it the best February on record for IPOs, above 2019’s $1.14 billion. In fact, the first two months of 2021 combined, at $3.17 billion, is the highest amount ever raised through IPOs for the first two months of any year since BioWorld began tracking in 2000. There were three IPOs completed in January and seven in February.
At 91 follow-on offerings recorded for January and February combined, it is the highest number in more than two decades by 47%. The next highest was the 62 completed in 2020. The $9.1 billion raised through 2021’s first two months comes in second to $12.1 billion in 2018.
Public/other financings for the first two months also are on top with $4.99 billion, second only to $3.9. Again, the volume of public/other deals is a record with 109 completed compared with 94 last year.
VC financings raised $6.3 billion through a total 112 deals during January and February. To put that in context, it is a 45.5% increase in volume over the 77 done by the same point last year, which is the next highest year. In terms of value, it is 75% more than the previous $3.6 billion record of 2019. The top VC round this year is a $250 million series A completed by Cambridge, Mass.-based Centessa Pharmaceuticals Ltd. in February.
An updated list of IPO, follow-on, public/other and private financings for 2021 can be found within BioWorld Snapshots.