What Lies Ahead for Biotech in 2008 - - BioPharm International


What Lies Ahead for Biotech in 2008

BioPharm International
Volume 21, Issue 3


The cost of healthcare in the US continues to spiral upwards. The debate has begun to change the focus of healthcare delivery from a more reactive, sporadic, disease-oriented system to one that is personalized, predictive, preventative, and strategic. There is no doubt that after a slow start, personalized medicine is gathering momentum.

In the last few years, personalized medicine has emerged as a powerful new tool for healthcare. Personalized therapies are on the horizon for diseases such as cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and other deadly disorders.

Investors are warming to the fact that the transition to a more personalized medicine world is taking hold; the value of the Burrill Personalized Medicine Index jumping 30% in 2007. Personalized medicine is creating the need for tools like molecular diagnostics and biomarkers, and therefore companies specializing in these areas have received positive investor attention.


Financings and partnering deals collectively brought in almost $45 billion for US companies in 2007 with over $22 billion through financings and a record-setting $22 billion in partnering capital. Partnering deals will remain at record levels and a significant portion of the $25 billion raised will be directed at gaining access to technology at an earlier stage in its development as companies strengthen their product indication franchises.

The M&A trends that have been hot in biotech land during the past three years will not slow down. Big Pharma has come to rely on biotech to access pipeline and innovation. Both Big Pharma and Big Biotech will continue to compete for companies with advanced product pipelines, as well as important land grabs of technology.


The capital markets in the US will remain turbulent during the first half of 2008 as investors digest year-end earnings and Q1 results, as a function of overall US market concerns about the continuing credit crisis and its impact on the economy. Biotechelite companies will continue to impress with their financial returns and mid-cap and small-cap biotech companies will also keep pace. By year end 2008, the Burrill Biotech Select Index will have again outperformed the general markets and the DJIA and NASDAQ.

The presidential campaign in 2008 will keep healthcare issues at the top of the political agenda. Drug safety and the costs of medicines will continue to be major issues. In the wake of PDUFA IV, drug approvals will remain slow and pharmacovigilance will be the story.

G. Steven Burrill is the chief executive officer of Burrill & Company, San Francisco, CA, 415.591.5400,

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