Biotech VC, by the numbers

October 14, 2020
We recap a fantastic first day of BIO Investor Forum Digital, with a look at VC investment trends, the latest news from the AMR Action Fund, and why diversity matters in clinical trials and in companies. It's all below, plus your usual news from Washington, in just…
BIO
We recap a fantastic first day of BIO Investor Forum Digital, with a look at VC investment trends, the latest news from the AMR Action Fund, and why diversity matters in clinical trials and in companies. It's all below, plus your usual news from Washington, in just under 1,000 words, just under 5 minutes.
 

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The World’s Most Valuable Pharmaceutical Companies - Torreya’s report provides a snapshot of the global pharmaceutical industry in September 2020 and compares it to the industry in 2015. Click Here for Report Executive Summary.
 
 
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How to follow BIO Investor Forum Digital

  • Head to the BIO Investor Forum Digital Live Blog (www.bio.org/bif/live), where our team of writers is bringing you the highlights, live and in real time as its happening.
  • Join the conversation at @IAmBiotech with #BIFDigital.
  • Did we give you FOMO? It’s not too late to register for full access (including BIO One-on-One Partnering) or the education pass, which includes access to educational sessions, company presentations, and video networking. 

What we’re watching today: Starting the day with politics (12:00 PM ET/9:00 AM PT), covering everything from the outlook for drug pricing policy to Election Day predictions. Then, we’ll hear practical advice on how to achieve corporate diversity and inclusion goals (1:00 PM ET/10:00 AM PT). This afternoon, we sit down with Dr. Patrizia Cavazzoni of the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation & Research (4:00 PM ET/1:00 PM PT) and get the market outlook (5:00 PM ET/2:00 PM PT). The closing session focuses on lessons from COVID-19 on treating infectious diseases and preparing for the next pandemic (7:00 PM ET/4:00 PM PT).

 
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Biotech VC, by the numbers

 
 

Yesterday, David Thomas, BIO’s VP of Industry Analysis, reviewed some new data on venture capital investment in emerging therapeutics. The takeaway: biotech is booming—and the impact of COVID-19 on investment might surprise you. 

At $18.2 billion YTD, emerging therapeutic venture capital is on track for a record year. Compare that to the year-end totals of $18.3 billion in 2018 (the peak) and $17.7 billion in 2019. 

The bulk of the money (66% in 2019) goes to U.S. companies—but the percentage going to non-U.S. companies is growing, reaching around 35% so far this year. 

Trends are similar on the fundraising side, said Dennis He, Relationship Manager at Silicon Valley Bank. Roughly $10.5 billion in new funds have been raised in the first half of 2020, on par with full-year 2019, and funds are about 30% larger.

Comparing the first three quarters of 2019 vs. 2020, more companies are being funded this year—229 in 2020, compared to 205 in 2019.

And $3 billion more has been spent—$12.1 billion in 2020, compared to $8.6 billion in 2019.

 
Venture Funding YTD 2019 vs. 2020
 

What’s driving this investment? Of the 20 U.S. companies receiving the most money, nine are focused on oncology. Rare disease is another trend, while two companies are working on COVID-19. Oncology also dominates outside the United States. 

What’s the impact of COVID-19? “Everyone expected there to be a pullback in funding, but it hasn’t quite panned out that way,” said Ruchita Sinha, Partner at AV8 Ventures. “The pandemic has really put the spotlight on health care in general,” she continued. “But there is also the sentiment that science will get us out of this pandemic as we wait for the vaccine.”

See the full report.

See the BIO Investor Forum Digital Live Blog for more on what they had to say about biotech VC.

 
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A few more things that caught our attention on BIF Day 1…

Dr. Michelle McMurry-Heath on respecting science
 
 

1/3 of biopharmas that have gotten new antibiotics approved in the last decade have gone bankrupt, said Dr. Gregory Frank, BIO’s Senior Director of Infectious Disease Policy, explaining why we need to fix the antibiotic pipeline.

The AMR Action Fund expects to be operational by the end of 2020, said Martin Bott, Interim General Manager, and starting to analyze investment opportunities in Q1 of 2021. Learn more. 

We will know when we’re getting closer to health equity when vulnerable patients “tell us that they were listened to, they were given quality care, they were given biomarker testing, they had access to innovative therapies—and that they lived,” said Jeanne Regnante, Chief Health Equity and Diversity Officer of LUNGevity. “We will know that we are getting closer to achieving health equity when they advocate for others like them.”

Diversity matters when it comes to running a company, too. Human capital, wellbeing, inclusion, and diversity are mandated, said Mahesh Karande, President and CEO of Omega Therapeutics, in a session on managing teams during a pandemic. “If you get the strategies of people right, everything else falls into place.
 
 

More News:

CNN: Eli Lilly pauses trial of its monoclonal antibody to treat coronavirus
“Lilly is supportive of the decision by the independent [Data Safety Monitoring Board] to cautiously ensure the safety of the patients participating in this study,” the company said in the statement. 

The New York Times: What’s special about bat viruses? What we don’t know could hurt us
“The ‘key question,’…is whether bat tolerance of viruses causes the evolution of pathogens that are more dangerous for people. Science does not yet have an answer.”

 
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I am BIO

Meet Brad: Investing in Biotech’s Future

Meet Brad: Investing in Biotech’s Future
 
 

Brad Loncar is an investor who believes that some of the most exciting advances in the coming decades will be in biology and biotech—and investing in the advancement of medicine will allow more people to participate in that. 

“To be able to invest in something that helps people is one of the most rewarding things that you can do,” he says.

Watch Brad tell his story.

Visit www.bio.org/iambio to learn more and share your story!

 
 
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BIO Beltway Report
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President Trump’s Wednesday: Speaking to the Economic Clubs of New York, Florida, Chicago, Pittsburgh, Sheboygan, and Washington, D.C., at the White House, then heading to Des Moines, IA, for a campaign rally.

What’s Happening on Capitol Hill: During Day 2 of the Senate Judiciary Committee’s hearing on Supreme Court nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett, she “repeatedly declined to answer questions on Tuesday about her views on abortion and Obamacare,” reports POLITICO. The hearing continues today.

 
 
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