Guarded optimism seems to be the mood of the biopharmaceutical industry to start 2024.
Last year brought a stock market slide and layoffs for more than 150 drug companies. Financial and regulatory headwinds, like the March collapse of Silicon Valley Bank and a more strident Federal Trade Commission, further weighed on the sector.
There are now some signs of a turnaround, from a rebounding market to a flurry of pharma company acquisitions. Surging demand for new obesity drugs has lifted Eli Lilly and Novo Nordisk, while catalyzing an industry-wide race to follow them. The Food and Drug Administration may soon approve a new Alzheimer’s drug. Antibody-drug conjugates and radiopharmaceuticals promise to offer new ways of treating certain cancers.
Perhaps more importantly, the Federal Reserve has signaled plans to cut interest rates, potentially making a high-risk sector like biotech more appealing to investors.
Still, the effects of the downturn may not be so easy to shake off. Already more than half a dozen biotech companies have announced layoffs, and venture investors have signaled changes in how they plan to build new startups. Larger drugmakers still face sizable patent cliffs that they need to solve. And a U.S. presidential election could bring political scrutiny.
Read on for a look at what’s in store this year.
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