Following the FDA giving the green light to seven new medicines in December, it brought the approval total of new molecular entities (NMEs) in 2020 to 53, an amount that equals the number of new medicines that were approved in 1996 and ranking it second equal all-time just behind the 59 NMEs that were approved in 2018.
It was a turbulent year for publicly traded biopharmaceutical companies, but after a lackluster first quarter that saw biopharma equities plunge dramatically, particularly at the beginning of March, there was a gradual recovery over the final three quarters of the year. In order to determine just how well the sector performed on the capital markets, BioWorld examined the fortunes of 516 U.S. biopharma and related stocks.
A decade from now, 2020 likely will be considered a year like no other in terms of the massive amounts of capital raised amid a raging pandemic. Financing transactions of all types smashed records and in terms of volume hit 1,580, a total that was 42% higher than last year.
A decade from now, 2020 likely will be considered a year like no other in terms of the massive amounts of capital raised amid a raging pandemic. Financing transactions of all types smashed records and in terms of volume hit 1,580, a total that was 42% higher than last year despite the serious disruptions to normal business operations.
The exceptional and speedy response in bringing safe and effective vaccines and therapeutics to combat COVID-19 has kept investors engaged and supportive. As a result, not only have companies involved in this research and development benefited, but so has the sector as a whole. Those biopharma companies have enjoyed significant jumps in their share values, with the BioWorld Drug Developers index closing up 4.6% in December and up 29% for 2020.
While everyone will be glad to see 2020 in their rearview mirror, the biopharmaceutical sector can count its blessings, as it emerges from a period where it has surprisingly received record public and private financings and enjoyed strong investor support. This is in sharp contrast to most of the global economy, which has been decimated by the ongoing pandemic.
The BioWorld Drug Developers index is currently tracking up more than 9% in value so far this month and is on target, with a handful of trading days left before the end of the year, to close up over 35% for 2020, well ahead of the general markets.
A third-quarter progress report from the international advocacy group Alliance for Regenerative Medicine (ARM) has determined that the regenerative medicine and advanced therapy (RMAT) sector established a highwater mark of $15.9 billion in global financings, breaking the previous annual record of $13.5 billion that was set in 2018.
As the year draws to a close, there is no doubt that investors have been keeping a close watch on emerging companies developing cancer therapies as well as those with new vaccines and treatments aimed at defeating COVID-19.