As the biopharma industry moves away from the COVID-19 pandemic and expands research in other areas, the amount of money flowing into companies through deals with nonprofit or government entities and grants has plummeted 53% in comparison with 2021. The drop is mainly due to a diminishing number and a lower overall value of bio/nonprofit partnerships. Grants, on the other hand, have risen in both areas.
Biopharma just wouldn’t be biopharma without continuing innovation. Even in a year rife with economic and regulatory turmoil, the industry still achieved major advancements set to change the health care landscape going forward. Standouts for 2022 include cell therapy and gene editing approaches making significant gains, while industry celebrated a new checkpoint inhibitor added to the oncology armamentarium.
It was a grueling year for life sciences companies trying to raise money and keep afloat. Despite the industry’s front-line position in fighting COVID-19, sparking an overzealous enthusiasm, the soaring financings and rising stock prices of 2020 took an about-face beginning in 2021 and dropping even further in 2022. Share prices plummeted amid economic turmoil that included rising inflation, geopolitical pressures, and budgetary threats. Investors closed their wallets just as burn rates increased and funds diminished. Partnering fell to pre-pandemic levels and mergers and acquisitions hit a five-year low. Without capital, the uncertainty led companies to the only other option, workforce reductions and restructurings, pushing aside promising candidates at the expense of patients.
Chatter about an impending acquisition of Horizon Therapeutics plc sent its shares soaring 61% throughout November, making it the best performing stock of the month among the 30 companies that are part of BioWorld’s Drug Developers Index (BDDI).