DUBLIN – European biotechnology firms engaged in drug discovery and development raised an aggregate $3.172 billion in equity investment during the first half of 2019, down 19% on the same period last year. Unless there is a substantial pickup in the third and fourth quarters, the sector's record-breaking 2018 total of $7.715 billion looks to be out of reach.
In late May, Novartis AG's Avexis Inc. unit gained FDA approval for Zolgensma (onasemnogene neparvovec) to treat spinal muscular atrophy, and other companies are looking to follow suit developing drugs to treat a variety of diseases of the central nervous system (CNS).
It has been acknowledged by governments around the world that there are simply not enough antibiotics currently in the product pipeline to meet the predicted requirements of their health care systems. Not good news considering that antibiotic resistance continues to be a major societal concern, with the CDC estimating that in the U.S. alone at least 2 million people contract an antibiotic-resistant infection, and at least 23,000 people die annually as a result.