A spring of hope has emerged for BioWorld’s Drug Developers Index (BDDI) with stocks moving in a positive direction in recent weeks, much in line with the broader markets. The BDDI is currently down for the year by 15.5%, but that is an improvement over the 21% decline at the end of February. Likewise, the Nasdaq Biotechnology Index and the Dow Jones Industrial Average are showing similar upward trajectories, but are still down by 11.1% and 4.2%, respectively. It is the first time this year stocks have begun to rise.
The tides have turned for med-tech financings as private companies are now raising the largest proportion of money. In the early months of 2021, 2020 and 2019, public companies took the greatest share. However, amounts raised overall are down by 50% over the same period of 2021 and the number of transactions has fallen 17%.
Sorrento Therapeutics Inc.’s majority-owned subsidiary, Scilex Holding Co., and antibody drug developer Apexigen Inc. both announced plans late this week to go public via mergers with special purpose acquisition companies (SPACs), suggesting that, despite current market conditions, SPACs are still considered a viable option for firms seeking cash and access to public markets.
From every perspective, the number of biopharma deals with nonprofit or government entities, as well as industry grants, are significantly below last year, and efforts focused on the COVID-19 pandemic have dropped as well.