As society continues to re-open and biopharma companies move back toward a business-as-usual approach, the number of clinical trials affected by the COVID-19 pandemic has plummeted with only 12 reporting delays or disruptions in the month of June. This compares to 171 in April and 71 in May.
Despite the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, biopharma dealmaking values in the second quarter of 2020 increased by 22.4% since the first quarter, and M&A values – thanks to Abbvie Inc. completing in May its $63 billion buyout of Allergan plc – are at a four-year high. A total of 529 deals, including licensings, collaborations and joint ventures, reported during the second quarter had projected values of nearly $49 billion, a step up from the 471 deals and $40.8 billion value of the first quarter.
Research focused on finding viable solutions to counter the COVID-19 pandemic continues at an explosive pace with a total of 588 potential therapeutics and vaccines at the forefront of scientific efforts launched by industry, academia and government.
Amid a world that has been brought to its knees by the COVID-19 pandemic, the biopharma industry has learned how to quickly adapt under these extreme circumstances. Not only has it rapidly brought to bear huge research efforts to uncover potential therapeutics and vaccines to counter the circulating coronavirus, but also it has learned how to conduct its business activities in a completely different way. For example, the pandemic hasn't stopped biopharmas from going public, with 15 companies graduating to the public arena in June alone. These financings have contributed to the $62 billion that has been generated in combined global public and private company financings in the first half of the year.
DUBLIN – Even by any normal measure of European biotechnology investment, the first two quarters of 2020 were memorable. If it maintains the present momentum, Europe’s drug development sector is on course for a record-breaking year, having already raised $5.034 billion in publicly disclosed equity investments. That puts it well ahead of any other year – the sector edged to a new high in 2019 when it raised $7.739 billion over the full 12 months – but, of course, comparisons with any other year seem irrelevant. This year is like no other. The COVID-19 pandemic has changed everything.