DUBLIN – Last year was yet another banner year for European biotechnology firms engaged in drug development. The sector took in $7.739 billion in equity funding in 2019, just edging past the previous high of $7.715 billion it reached in 2018. The second half of the year was a marked improvement on the first half, but that was linked to the timing of a couple of large-scale transactions.
After a flurry of activity in December, when the FDA approved seven new molecular entities (NMEs), the total of novel drugs that were given the green light this year reached 48, a number that ranks third behind the record 59 new medicines the agency approved last year and 53 in 1996.
The next wave of drug discovery is being enabled by artificial intelligence (AI). This fact has not been lost on investors, who are keeping a close watch on emerging biopharma companies that are using AI and machine learning to enable the discovery of next-generation medicines.
Will the digital transformation in health care start to benefit consumers in 2020? That was one of the challenges addressed in a recent report from PwC Health Research Institute titled “Top health industry issues of 2020: Will digital start to show an ROI?” The report predicts that in the next year, health system leaders will tout their investments in technology and transformation.
Throughout the year we have published the views of company executives, government regulators, industry analysts and scientists on a variety of topics and, in our popular annual feature, we include a selection of these that paints a picture of the significant events that shaped 2019.