As well as sharing the highlights of the data from the report, the webinar gave our presenters a chance to really discuss some of the big issues in the pharma industry that led us to declare it “Pharma’s Age of Uncertainty”. But if you missed it, we’ve got you.
Firstly, the on-demand recording is available now and I strongly urge you to take a look as soon as you can. Until you find that moment, here are three things that we learned in the session. Our presenters were report author Melanie Senior, report contributor Daniel Chancellor, and Evaluate Consultant, Paul Verdin, who talked us through the detail of the data from the report.
So, what did we learn from our panel?
- The Inflation Reduction Act IS going to happen
Inevitably, our team had to address the biggest issue first. One of the leading causes of uncertainty in the industry is the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA). Things became clearer recently, as the first drugs to be subject to price negotiations by the CMS have been named. However, that list may still change before the negotiations start, and lawsuits are still being filed to try to prevent the legislation being enacted. Melanie Senior declined to whip out her crystal ball but did note “the IRA is unlikely to go away, given the political momentum behind it. But there is a possibility that it may get delayed a little bit. And a delay may be seen as a victory as far as the pharma industry is concerned”.
- Dealmaking WILL continue – but dynamics might get more complicated
The IRA is already impacting dealmaking in terms of which targets are most appealing, but our panel agreed that deals will continue nevertheless. Paul Verdin reminded us that over $80bn of dealmaking has already happened in the first half of 2023, the IPO window remains closed for most biotechs, and that many large pharma are still sitting on cash. So M&A is still the way forward. The FTC’s – ultimately unsuccessful – objection to the Amgen/Horizon deal will not be the last time we see a regulator get involved. With potentially more lawyers, more documents and more red tape to navigate, deals will be riskier, and take longer, meaning some smaller companies may run out of cash before a transaction actually closes.
- Nothing lasts forever, even if it feels like it
One question from the attendees focused on biotech’s ongoing financing challenges. EY reported in June that 55% of biotechs have only enough money for keep operating for two more years. However, we (well, the panel) don’t think this is a sign of a grim future for the industry. There’s some exceptional new science and innovation taking place, and there is money to fund it. Private equity and venture financing have billions to spend when they see the right opportunity. That funding isn’t easy to access, but markets are cyclical and while not every company will make it through the current tough patch, it won’t last forever.
There was much, much more in the webinar so do check out the on-demand version.
For more on the World Preview in all its forms, including the on-demand webinar, take a look at the World Preview Hub.