The Rare Disease Day, which takes place at the end of February each year, is designed to focus global attention on the need for therapies to treat patients suffering from devastating rare diseases. The most recent event represented the 13th year it has been held. Over that period, research and development in the area has come a long way, and there are now 420 companies around the world that are active in developing regenerative medicines and advanced therapies for the treatment of rare diseases, according to a new report released by the Alliance for Regenerative Medicine (ARM).
The importance of artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML) has not been lost on drug development companies. Recently, to help accelerate the discovery of therapies to treat COVID-19, several deals have been established to help deploy those tools.
The circuit breakers activated almost immediately when the markets opened this morning as the Dow plummeted, with investors moving into cash and away from equities. Clearly, they were not impressed with the Federal Reserve’s decision to slash its benchmark interest rate to nearly 0% to help combat the economic fallout from the coronavirus outbreak.
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%.
Concerns about the escalating global spread of COVID-19 panicked the markets big time at the close of the month. With investors rushing to the sidelines, it only took five days for the Dow Jones Industrial Average to drop more than 10% from its all-time high, getting close to the 30,000 mark.