Biotech Decision-Making During Uncertain Times

26 September, 2022

Following a period of record growth and profits, the Biotech sector is experiencing a tough slog. Share values are down and venture capital funds are growing scarce, even for formerly white-hot categories like Oncology drugs. Industry analysts are calling it a “Biotech Winter.”

Some of Biotech’s current problems are inherent due to the sector’s long and tortured development process. The industry includes large, well-established corporations developing a range of drugs and technologies, while others are small start-ups seeking to gain traction with one or more applications. Regardless of size, products under development must go through time-consuming and costly trials, followed by submission for approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

This long development process means that investors may wait for years before knowing whether their investment has paid off. In many cases, biotech companies are reporting no significant revenues. Instead, share prices rise and fall based on news of milestones reached in research, clinical trials, or in partnering. As a result, early-stage biotech company shares are prone to wild swings.

As of June 2022, biotech stocks, as represented by the iShares Biotechnology ETF (IBB), have posted a total return of -21.0% in the past year, below the Russell 1000's total return of -14.3%.

How the Industry is Responding

For companies in the sector, this “Biotech Winter” reality may not translate into a rewrite of a company’s overall strategy, but many biotech companies are retrenching, prioritizing their portfolios, rethinking clinical development programs, conserving funds, and asking hard questions:

  • “What does the biotech buyer or investor look for?”
  • “How do I create a compelling story, especially for early-stage and developing assets?”
  • “Is my program sufficiently differentiated?”
  • “How do I balance value creation with risk reduction?”

How You Can Learn

The “Biotech Decision-Making During Uncertain Times” webinar brings together a cast of experienced biotech, pharma, and investment pros for a spirited dialogue around these and other issues, including life after the Biotech Winter. For those currently immersed in a pharma development program, initiating a novel Immuno-Oncology program, or conjuring a new twist on a known precision Oncology treatment, this webinar offers insights, direction, and inspiration.

Watch the replay