In the latest podcast episode, Optimum Strategic Communications’ Eva Haas gives her thoughts on the trends in the biopharma market for 2023.
After the geopolitical upheavals of last year, according to some sources there has been a gradual recovery.
For instance an analysis by Clarivate and the BioIndustry Association trade body secured £382 million in VC and public funding in Q2 2023, up 29% from the previous quarter’s £295 million.
However, according to Haas this is only part of the picture, as she pointed out that shares in biopharma companies are likely to be depressed at the moment.
She told Optimum’s Richard Staines in the podcast: “AIM All Share, which obviously isn’t just biotechs or biopharma or life sciences, has underperformed the FTSE All Share by about 15%.”
IPOs have been virtually non-existent, and their return in larger volumes would be a sign of a more vigorous recovery, according to Haas.
“I think once we’ve got more of a trickle then I think things will start look up. The whole backdrop of cost of living and prices doesn’t help in terms of getting an investment either. So coming out of that would be helpful too,” she said.
In terms of “hot” areas of medical research, the pattern seen over recent years remains in place, with “old faithfuls” such as antibody-drug conjugates, smart radiotherapies, mRNA and oncology and immune-oncology continuing to attract investment.
Haas said: “About 30% of patients respond to the checkpoints. So there’s plenty of patients to go for there and get these therapies to work with everything from things like host defense peptides or things that mimic an infection.”
Recruiting patients to clinical trials is always a tough task, and the events of last year caused severe disruption across Ukraine and neighbouring countries, which had become popular destinations for medical research.
While there is no end in sight for the war, companies are looking for workarounds to ensure that trials can continue.
“Efforts are being made to run them elsewhere for those who had clinical trials ongoing in those regions,” said Haas.
For those who are confident enough and have the funding, it’s still possible to launch biotechs because of the presence of VC funding.
According to Haas, it’s vital to put a communications strategy at the heart of any launch campaign to ensure your company has the credibility to realise its potential.
She concluded: “You will need to be differentiated and innovative. And also have a clear plan and pathway through development and communicate it. Otherwise, other people will take the agenda off you and measure you how they want to. Whereas, if you’re communicating, then you control the narrative.”