More than a quarter of all biopharma/nonprofit deals and grant awards in 2021, as well as 79% of the disclosed funding, targets the COVID-19 pandemic, following a trend that began in the early months of last year as SARS-CoV-2 reared its ugly head.  

Through mid-April, in total, there have been 261 bio/nonprofit deals worth $2.53 billion and 97 grants valued at $615.5 million. In comparison, by this time last year, there were 232 bio/nonprofit deals worth $617.5 million and 163 grants worth $977 million. In essence, the volume and value of deals climbed, while grants dropped year over year.

All top deals and grants are focused on infectious diseases, primarily COVID-19. The top two bio/nonprofit deals involve the U.S. government, one for $1.95 billion for an additional 100 million doses of the Pfizer Inc. and Biontech SE COVID-19 vaccine, Comirnaty (BNT-162b2), and the other for $210 million to purchase a minimum of 100,000 doses of Eli Lilly and Co.’s bamlanivimab and etesevimab for mild to moderate COVID-19. The two top grants were both awarded in March, including $86.8 million from the U.S. Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority to fund Contrafect Inc.’s phase III study of exebacase in patients with Staph aureus bacteremia, and $60 million from Brazil’s Ministry of Science and Technology to PDS Biotechnology Corp. to develop a COVID-19 vaccine.

About 38% of the grant money this year, $235.75 million, has gone to pandemic-focused efforts through 27 awards, while 89% of the bio/nonprofit deal values, $2.25 billion (65 deals), target COVID-19. By contrast, there were 100 such deals and 44 grants by this point last year.

U.S. government organizations have provided a third of the 2021 grant money, $193.5 million, and 22% of the deal money, at $563.1 million. While most grants, 74% (72 of 97), disclosed the amounts awarded, only about 6% (15 of 261) of the bio/nonprofit deals included financials.

A listing of bio/nonprofit deals and grants are updated through mid-April and can be found within BioWorld Snapshots.