Almost $2bn was raised by drug developers in the third quarter, a period that witnessed two of the largest flotations of pre-revenue companies in recent years.
The $6.6bn of M&A deals announced by drug makers in third quarter of 2018 marks the slowest three-month period since 2013.
Private biotechs received almost $4bn in venture financing in the third quarter, as the healthy financing climate showed few signs of deteriorating.
Other therapy areas take a back seat as the pharma industry continues to focus on cancer-focused licensing deals.
Licensing deal activity holds up in first half of 2018 as biopharma continues to stay away from takeovers.
Celgene's CAR-T and Glaxosmithkline's antibody-drug conjugate are among the industry's most valuable R&D assets.