A list of biopharma companies and nonprofit entities, including academia, working feverishly to find a vaccine or antiviral treatment to address the rapidly spreading coronavirus, now known as COVID-19, has more than doubled, increasing from about 30 a few weeks ago to 71 as of March 6.
According to an analysis conducted by BioWorld of the fourth-quarter and year-end 2019 financial reports filed by the top 100 public biopharmaceutical companies ranked by market cap, and excluding big pharma companies, the amount that was invested in research and development (R&D) during the year increased 35% compared to the same period in 2018.
The financial markets were delivered a one-two punch March 9 – a plunge in oil prices along with fears that the coronavirus is continuing to spread unabated. As a result, the Dow Jones Industrial Average cratered 1,500 points in early trading after a brief halt with market circuit breakers kicking in. Biopharma equities did not escape the carnage, with the BioWorld Biopharmaceutical index trading down about 4% by market close, with the Dow closing down 7.8%.