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January 2024 Newsletter

Greetings friends and colleagues, 


Happy New Year and welcome to our first newsletter of 2024! As we usher in another promising year, we want to extend warm wishes and gratitude to all of our subscribers. Let’s begin by taking a quick look back at the biopharma market in 2023. We will then transition into highlights from the 2024 J.P. Morgan (JPM) Healthcare Conference and share some of the top news stories in January.  


Biopharma 2023 Summary  

In 2023, the biopharma industry faced its fair share of challenges, including a record number of bankruptcies, decreased funding, and a significant volume of layoffs. Exit activity was also slow this year, marked by 84 deals totaling $17.9 billion. This was a notable decline from the 200 deals executed in 2021 that amounted to $86.4 billion, and the 77 deals from 2022 that generated $23.4 billion. On the M&A front, Pfizer's $43 billion acquisition of Seagen, announced in March and finalized in December, stood out. Analysts are anticipating a continued uptick in M&A activity in 2024, partially due to increased investor interest in treatments for weight loss and cardiovascular diseases. The industry also grappled with changes from the Inflation Reduction Act’s Drug Price Negotiation Program, which compelled some of the leading pharmaceutical companies to participate in negotiations with CMS. For a comprehensive review of the industry's ups and downs, check out the Year-in-Review from Biospace. In addition, J.P. Morgan’s 2023 Annual Biopharma Licensing and Venture Report provides a summary of last year’s fundraising, BD, and M&A trends. 


JPM 2024 Highlights 

The 42nd annual J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference brought over 10,000 participants to San Francisco this year. The first day of the event, also known as “Merger Monday,” saw a surge of collaboration announcements by big pharma players such as Novartis, J&J, and Merck. Additional key takeaways from the conference include a notable emphasis on the future of AI in drug development, advancements in cell and gene therapy, and the potential of GLP-1 medications in

the treatment of obesity. For a recap of highlights from the event, Biospace provides a comprehensive overview.  


Top January News Stories 

Boehringer Ingelheim Funds $38 Million Cirrhosis Study  

Newcastle University, the University of Edinburgh, and leading biopharma company, Boehringer Ingelheim announced the ADVANCE study this month. The $38 million study, funded by Boehringer Ingelheim, will be the most extensive global clinical study into liver cirrhosis and aims to enroll 200 patients throughout the UK and Europe while utilizing advanced techniques such as liquid biopsies and MRI scans to analyze liver health and identify novel biomarkers. Results from this observational study will enhance the understanding of MASH cirrhosis and accelerate the development of future therapies.  


Vertex, CRISPR’s Casgevy Scores FDA Approval in Beta Thalassemia   

Less than six weeks after the FDA’s momentous approval of Casgevy in sickle-cell disease, the first CRISPR-based gene therapy approved in the US received another FDA nod to treat transfusion-dependent beta thalassemia (TDT). The approval, granted over two months ahead of schedule, covers TDT patients aged 12 and older who require regular transfusions. Positioned as a one-time treatment, Casgevy is currently priced at $2.2 million and to support market access, the companies have established nine authorized treatment centers, with additional centers expected to be activated in the coming weeks. 


Biotech’s 2024 IPO Season Kicks Off with a Combined $555M Fundraise 

The upsized IPOs of CG Oncology and ArriVent BioPharma, which raised over half a billion dollars collectively, indicate a positive turn for the biotech sector's IPO market. CG Oncology raised $380 million and saw its shares almost double, giving the company a $2.2 billion market valuation. ArriVent BioPharma, which originally planned for a $135 million IPO, landed at a $175 million offering. These developments hint at a shift in investor sentiment and a resurgence in the biotech IPO market, fueled by positive economic indicators and a pause in interest rate hikes. 


As we conclude this edition of our newsletter, we look forward to continuing to provide best-in-class Strategic New Product Planning, Corporate Development Strategy, and R&D Strategy support to our industry colleagues. Our commitment to delivering valuable, data-driven insights remains unwavering. Thanks again, and here's to another year of innovation, collaboration, and transformative strides in healthcare.  


Cheers to a promising 2024!  

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