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.
Overall, data presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology virtual meeting over the weekend appear to have garnered investor approval, with the BioWorld Cancer index advancing 3%, by market close Monday, and a further 1.7% by the closing bell today.
While companies have seen plenty of success treating blood cancers with T-cell therapies, solid tumors have largely remained the holy grail for T cells. But Adaptimmune Therapeutics plc has early data from its Specific Peptide Enhanced Affinity Receptor T-cell platform suggesting it may be on the right path for a platform with a wide breadth.